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God of Promise: Introducing Covenant Theology

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  665 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
cov e nant (n): A binding agreement; a compact; a promise

Since biblical times covenants have been a part of everyday life. Simply put, they are promises, agreements, or contracts. But how do they translate into faith and the reading of Scripture? Are covenants merely elements of a narrative? Or do they represent something more? And what are the eternal implications of "cut

Hardcover, 204 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Baker Books
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Jacob Aitken
Michael Horton in this book gives the church and updated primer on covenant theology, drawing upon and routinely surpassing the works of Meredith Kline and O. Palmer Robertson. It is superior to these two works both in style and choice of content. Few can match Horton’s clear, lucid writing. With regard to choice of content, Horton covers the same ground that most systematics cover, but he does so without being repetitious. As a whole, the book is outstanding, but I can only recommend it with a ...more
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is an excellent introduction to Horton's covenant theology, but not the best introduction to covenant theology. Those with little knowledge of covenant theology and Reformed theology in general may find it difficult to understand at times.

Still, it's an excellent read at times and I recommend it to those who want an introduction to a growing perspective (Klinian) on covenant theology.
Laurent Dv
A modern book on covenant theology more accessible than Kline. Still it can sometimes be hard. Horton hold the same view than Kline on the mosaic covenant, he sees works principles at the typological level (life in Canaan). He suggests an interpretation of Kline (or whatever his opinion) by considering in the God-Israel relation grace as the abrahamic covenant and works as the mosaic covenant.

In the book, there are presentation of the biblical covenants (mosaic covenant or old covenant, new cove
Amy Kannel
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christianity
This was BRUTALLY unreadable. It’s packaged as a layperson’s introduction, but written like a stiff, dry, overly formal and complex academic textbook. I mean, I’m not a stupid girl, but I found it difficult to press through and comprehend. Still, it had good information, and the second half especially provided some fresh perspectives and food for thought, especially pertaining to communion and baptism. I’m at least intrigued to learn more about covenant theology.

Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
There is a lot of good material on this book, particularly on the covenant of redemption, the covenant of works, natural law, the law-gospel distinction, and the sacraments. The major downside is the underlying Klinean assumptions about the supposed similarities biblical covenants and ancient near eastern suzerain treaties. While I hold that there was a republication of the covenant of works under Moses, I am not sure that Michael Horton does justice to the Mosaic economy as the legal administra ...more
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book calls itself an introduction to Covenant Theology but without a foundation in theological concepts and terms (which Horton does not usually provide), this book will be difficult for the layperson. Even with a basic foundation, I was boxing above my weight with this book. The book reads more like a defense of covenant theology than an introduction - after reading, I feel I have at least been exposed to the major points of covenant theology and arguments for and counter arguments against ...more
John Gardner
May 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review is somewhat difficult for me to write. As someone with a passing familiarity with covenant theology (a system of biblical interpretation which sees the various covenants between God and Man as an organizational structure for all of Scripture) who hoped for a good primer in order to better understand the system on its own terms, I was glad to find a book by Michael Horton that appeared to be what I was seeking. I have enjoyed other books by Horton, as well as his blog and radio show, ...more
Jan 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
I actually thought this was a pretty good introduction to covenant theology. Horton makes use of much of Meredith Kline's work in covenant theology. But, as Horton argues, much of his (and Kline's) views have a solid reformed heritage behind it. At this point I'm not sure where I stand on this issue (modern debates between Klineans and Murrayites, for example), but Horton's little book did much to dissuade my Klinean prejudices (which, I'm sorry to admit, were mainly do to personal loyalties and ...more
Andy Smith
Mar 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Good overall. Really just a rehashing of Vos and Kline. I see what Horton was trying to do; take the writings of these scholars and filter them to the layman. Unfortunely, Horton can't get away from his covenental language enough to truly help beginners understand. Great content, but I wouldn't recomend it to someone just investigating covenant theology.
The chapter on Covenant People and Covenant Obedience were excellent, and Horton still had alot of great points. The last three paragraphs of th
Ryan Watkins
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, read-again
This is a book I will more than likely reread in the future. I was very new to covenant theology when I first read this back in 2015 and I had a very hard time comprehending it. Lectures at my local church about covenant theology made the topic much clearer and severed as a far superior introduction to the topic. I don't have a problem with the substance of the book but I do think it will be over the heads of those just starting to learn about covenant theology.
Feb 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
Claimed to argue Covenant theology from scripture, but made a key error/omission. Argued that the Abrahamic promises were about eternal salvation, whereas the Mosaic covenant was about temporal blessings in the land. Didn't address the fact that the Abrahamic promises, as written, refer to temporal blessing in the land and not to eternal salvation. Kind of a death blow to the argument.
Steve Hemmeke
Aug 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
Too academic for an introduction; a veiled argument against Federal Vision...
Justin Tapp
Feb 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: bible, church
I read this work after reading Chase Sears' excellent Heirs of Promise: The Church as the New Israel in Romans (Snapshots). Sears’ book focuses on Paul's arguments in Romans about Christians being on equal footing and the inheritors of promises to Israel. Horton's work gives an overview of covenant theology and some of the views of early Reformers. It also contains some sermonizing only tangentially related to covenant theology, some of which is good. Like Sears, Horton strains to avoid replace ...more
Ben Horgan
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Cannot bring myself to plod through this entire book. The beginning is great as there is great substance to stop and think about. I found myself zipping through clear water, amazed at what lied beneath the waves all the while seeing a shoreline that was quickly growing larger.

By the middle of the book the author suddenly looks to deepen the waters while simultaneously jumping from one point to another while poorly connecting them. This not only cut down on clarity but it also added a bit of con
Matt Crawford
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Horton's small diatribe on Covenant Theology is easy to understand. Whereas most volumes on Covenant Theology are thick and rely on people smarter than myself, specifically the Puritans. Yes, Horton does work with the Puritans and the Reformers, but this is actually a discussion about Biblical texts, rather than Church history. It shows that through the Old Testament Covenants and the New Covenant, the story of redemption is the story of God's soverignty and of the relationship between God and H ...more
Stephen Brown
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was overall a good book to read. It traces the historic development of the covenant as found in ancient Near Eastern treaties. At times, the book was a little stiff and on the academic and technical side, but it clearly conveyed the meaning of biblical covenants. Although this book is titled "Introducing Covenant Theology", it is far from being an introductory primer and should be for the intermediate reader.
Timothy Decker
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Pretty good, but it read more like a popular level survey of covenant theology for those already with a background in it rather than an introduction. This is not for the reader who was not brought up in this system.
It took ages for me to finish this book. It was a difficult read with many helpful insights on Reformed theology. The final chapter on the use of the law within the covenant of grace was especially amazing. I will definitely revisit this book.
Richard Minor
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have not read Kline’s book on Covenant Theology, but I have read O Palmer Robertson’s. I felt that many of the questions that I had after reading Christ of the Covenants were answered quite well by Horton.

I enjoyed reading this book over a very complex topic.
Kyle Grow
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Strong book, heart of which is very academic this not always enjoyable to read.
Matt Garm
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Extremely helpful introduction to covenant theology.
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Michael Horton's book, God of Promise:Introducing Covenant Theology, is a wonderful primer for anyone interested in understanding the basics of the Reformed hermeneutic. As Horton says explicitly, it is not that covenant is viewed as the central dogma of Scripture, but rather that covenant is the framework of Scripture. In fact, “God's very existence is covenantal: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit live in unceasing devotion to each other; reaching outward beyond the Godhead to create a community of ...more
Ben Adkison
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I 19ve been slowly reading through God of Promise: Introducing Covenant Theology by Michael Horton for several months now, and I finally completed it this weekend. Earlier this year I read Charles Ryrie 19s book Dispensationalism, which is basically the opposite end of spectrum theologically from this book by Horton. Dispensationalism and covenant theology are two competing systems that try to explain the way in which we should understand the overarching theme and history of the Bible. Dispensat ...more
Selkie Narwhal
Jul 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
This is absolutely not an introductory level book on Covenant Theology. It is a high-level scholarly and academic work by a seminary professor and not written for the lay person at all. If you are looking for an introductory book to Covenant Theology, try Covenants Made Simple by Jonty Rhodes.

Along with others who make up a modern "Klinean Movement," Horton promotes his interpretation of the unique Covenant Theology views of Old Testament Professor Meredith Kline. Kline's thought is quite unique
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
One word...beautiful!
Christopher M.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book, and one that I'm definitely going to have to read again. This is a theology book that derives its theology rigorously from the biblical literature and culture, first and foremost, before getting to any sort of "system." As we find out, the system is compelling, but the Horton goes to lengths to show that his theology arises organically when Scripture in context is allowed to interpret scripture. There are a number of views generally associated with Covenant theology (paedobaptism ...more
Austin Hoffman
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
slow start, but good introduction to covenant theology and useful material on ancient near Eastern covenant ceremony background. Maybe suffered from over quoting.
Brett McNeill
Feb 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
The content of this book is great, but it lacks the readability that characterizes some of Horton's other works. One repeatedly finds himself trying to understand the main point of a chapter and the flow of the argument. This book would have been a much greater asset if it had undergone one or two more editorial revisions before going to print.

Also the last chapter is anomalous in that it undoes much of what Horton has established through the whole of the book. The main of the book presents Law
Nate Claiborne
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Overall, I am in some ways sympathetic to the project Michael Horton is attempting in Introducing Covenant Theology. I would say I like the idea of it all, but he leaves many questions unanswered. I would consider myself Reformed in my theological leanings, or you could use the word Calvinist(ic) if you wanted to. However, I am not entirely convinced the case Horton makes here holds exegetical water. The book does follow a fairly logical flow, but that might not be enough in the end to overcome ...more
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Horton does a good job outlining the similarities and the differences between other ancient near-eastern treaties and the covenants of the Old Testament. Most importantly, he connects circumcision with baptism and the Passover with the Lord's Supper in ways that will challenge your conventional understanding of the sacraments. This is definitely a worthwhile read since Horton outlines the biblical unfolding narrative of justification, sanctification and glorification in the context of a corporal ...more
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I am very surprised 1 15 Oct 09, 2008 10:27PM  
  • The Christ of the Covenants
  • A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times
  • Foundations of Grace, 1400 BC – AD 100 (A Long Line of Godly Men #1)
  • What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied
  • Systematic Theology
  • Living for God's Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism
  • Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments
  • The Doctrine of God (A Theology of Lordship)
  • Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview
  • The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship
  • Communion with God
  • No Place for Truth: or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?
  • John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine & Doxology
  • The Holy Spirit (Contours of Christian Theology, #6)
  • Reformed Dogmatics Volume 2: God and Creation
  • Understanding Dispensationalists
  • Systematic Theology
Dr. Horton has taught apologetics and theology at Westminster Seminary California since 1998. In addition to his work at the Seminary, he is the president of White Horse Inn, for which he co-hosts the White Horse Inn, a nationally syndicated, weekly radio talk-show exploring issues of Reformation theology in American Christianity. He is also the editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine. Befo ...more
“God’s very existence is covenantal: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit live in unceasing devotion to each other, reaching outward beyond the Godhead to create a community of creatures serving as a giant analogy of the Godhead’s relationship.” 0 likes
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