e-Treasure

28 December 2006

New Focus Attacks "New Covenant Theology"

A copy of my email to "New Focus" regarding their latest attack on 'New Covenant Theology' (NCT).
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Dear brothers in Christ,

I have a few queries about George Ella's remark regarding New Covenant Theology (http://www.go-newfocus.co.uk/pages.php?section=25&subsection=7&artID=177).

1. Has he actually read Wells and Zaspel's book or is he basing his criticisms on material written by others? If he has not read the book word for word does he intend on doing so?

2. Has he sought to dialogue with Zaspel and/or Wells? If not, would Ella be willing to dialogue with some NCT theologians regarding his views? Would he be willing to open himself up to some loving theological dialogue and cross examination in an open forum or via email?

3. Some questions in regard to the following Ella quote:

"Our Reformers distinguished between error and heresy. The former was a mere misunderstanding of the gospel here and there; the latter was a total rejection of the gospel and the bringing in of a new religion. New Covenant Theology is thus most definitely a heresy. The ‘new’ in it is a new law and a new gospel with a new ecclesiology, a new Christology and a new doctrine of the Word of God. It has a new view of the natures of both man and God and a new view of God’s dealings with man. In the following months, I hope to show in detail what are the basic tenets of this false religion and how we can armour ourselves against it."

Do you (or Ella) believe that those who hold to NCT are unbelievers going to hell as implied by such vitriolic and misleading statements regarding NCT such as “heresy” (as opposed to “error”), “total rejection of the gospel”, “a new gospel”, “new Christology”, “false religion”, etc.

If you/he does believe that we, who hold to NCT, are all a bunch of hell bound rebels, does he also believe that the foundation for our faith is false? I remind you that those who hold to NCT also hold Calvinistic views of salvation. We have likewise repented for our sins and trusted in Jesus Christ alone: as the only Son of God, our Lord, King, Saviour and treasure. Are we not saved on this basis? We all confess him as Lord, forsake our sin, hold to the infallibility of Scripture, etc.

In my case I was converted and much later embraced Calvinistic teaching. Later again I embraced Presbyterianism as taught by the Westminster Confession of Faith. Many years later I changed my understanding of how the covenants fit together (i.e. embraced NCT). At this point did I enter a “false religion”? So, if we are unbelievers, as implied, do you or Ella believe it is not enough to hold these basics of Christianity to be saved? Is there more that we need to embrace? Must we agree point for point with Mr Ella over additional theological truths in order to be saved? (If so, you’ve added an awful lot of propositional truths to the gospel required to be embraced in order to be saved. Such a view can not be substantiated by Scripture!)

If I have misunderstood you or Ella, and you are not implying that we are all hell bound, may I suggest you tone down your language and speak more accurately concerning our beliefs. Please stick to the points of difference and stop making sweeping statements like you have so far. Broad brush, unqualified and misleading statements are not helpful. That is, saying we embrace a “new gospel with a new ecclesiology, a new Christology and a new doctrine of the Word of God. It has a new view of the natures of both man and God and a new view of God’s dealings with man.”, etc. Unqualified these overstatements appear designed to make us appear to hold views further divergent from the reformed faith than is correct. Please exercise more care in the future.

4. Do you consider the following to be “law”?
“Let your speech always, be gracious” (Col 4:6a)
“Rather, *speaking the truth in love*, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” Eph 4:15.

Your brother in Christ-
Shane Becker.

2 Comments:

  • Shane, did you ever get a response for this?

    By Blogger K. Elijah Layfield, At 5:15 am  

  • Yes, I did. I'll forward you a copy. The whole attack was not well reasoned or fair. Seems they are given to some extreams if you look at their web site.

    You may also be interested to know that Masters Theological Seminary is having a look at NCT:
    http://www.tms.edu/audio.asp?ministry_id=3&dlyear=-1&dlcat=Faculty+Lecture+Series&dlcat2=-1

    I'm sure there will be differences but at least they'll probably look at the subject with a greater degree of fairness and integrity.
    Shane.

    By Blogger Shane Becker, At 1:37 pm  

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