What were the judges? They were civil rulers and deliverers of Israel. God is concerned with all of human life and society. It is false to try to limit His interest only to the institutional Church, though as the sacramental body of Jesus Christ, the Church is the foremost earthly “institution.” The judges show us God delivering His people from His and their enemies, in particular in social and political situations. According to Scripture, the civil magistrate bears the sword of iron (as distinct from the Sword of the Scriptures) as a threat to evildoers. A magistrate is a minister of God, no less than a Church officer is, but the magistrate is a minister of God’s vengeance, while the elder is a minister of redemption. (See Romans 13.)
Christ is absent. Though he is not dead, he did go away, leaving his ministers to care for his bride and “raise up seed” for him. As levirs, they have the right to profit from the inheritance of the heir–the entire church–until the seed/son comes of age.
The church in Corinth was a pastoral nightmare. Factionalism, sexual immorality, incipient syncretism, using the church as a stage for self-promotion, and denial of the final resurrection were just some of the problems.
Is our justification a past event or a future one? The debate continues while the answer is, like Adam and Eve, hidden in plain sight.
The problem with most theological discussions concerning our justification is that they are imagined in the courts of men rather than in the court of God. What is the difference between these two courts?
Wilson: Who’s Harvey? Miss Kelly: A white rabbit, six feet tall. Wilson: Six feet? Elwood P. Dowd: Six feet three and a half inches. Now let’s stick to the facts.
It is a pity that this imaginary Covenant-of-obligations cannot be photographed and fingerprinted, let alone identified in the New Testament. Oh wait, it is mentioned in the New Testament. It is called the Law.
The best place to learn about biblical Covenants—what they are, what they look like, and how they operate—is the hallowed halls, past and present, of Reformed Theology. Strangely, this is also the worst place to learn about the New Covenant. It seems somebody did not get the system upgrade.
At the end of what we call the Old Covenant, the long history of sacrificial “ascensions” also came to an end. Along with this, all the Old Covenant saints ascended to heaven in what the Revelation calls “the first resurrection.” However, it seems to me that the sacrificial rites themselves indicate that the saints did not ascend in AD70 but instead just prior to the beginning of the Roman siege.
…all of the Old Covenant sacraments, like the flood, were future tense and testified to the destruction of the flesh.
[A report from our London correspondent, Chris Wooldridge:]
A week ago, I attended two conferences delivered by Peter Leithart on the subject of the Sacraments. The first one was aimed at anyone interested; the second was addressed more to ministers and theological students.