The Reformed Covenant Theology South Africa Needs

Faithful God is a book the Reformed community in South Africa—and beyond—doesn’t know it needs. Asking someone who identifies as Reformed what that means, their answer will usually include the doctrines of grace as summarised in the five solas. However, throughout Faithful God, Antonio Coppola helps us understand that historically Reformed theology is best understood as covenant theology. As he puts it, “in many ways Reformed theology is covenant theology” (p12).

Admittedly, South Africa has a sad history with a certain unbiblical expression of covenant theology (verbonds teologie or verbondsvolk). This means that a biblically faithful and historically careful approach to covenant theology is crucial for addressing the many caricatures and aberrations. Faithful God is refreshingly helpful in this regard.

The More Practical Aspects

However, Coppola isn’t interested in merely rehashing a theological framework. Rather, he seeks to recover the grand, reassuring biblical theme of covenant. Faithful Godrelates the themes of covenant theology to the everyday experiences and concerns of believers. Those themes include: promise (broken promises); faithfulness (unfaithfulness), and relationships (isolation); each of which are core to covenant theology. And by pulling on their strands, Coppola establishes rapport with his readers.

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Riann Boer | “God’s Covenants Are Object Lessons of His Trustworthiness” | October 5th, 2023


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