or Shekinah People
“The solution here is not, as Calvin believed, to dress the New Covenant’s ethical maturity in the puerile clothing of paedobaptism.”
In The Failure of the American Baptist Culture [PDF], James Jordan, Ray Sutton and others expose the rot at the heart of baptistic theology, which is inherently man-centred. The authors call us from a view of salvation in isolation to a wider vision of the meaning of baptism, which signifies the broader realities of the Covenant of Grace. I learned a great deal about history and Reformed theology, and thoroughly recommend it to you. In my view, however, they don’t go far enough. A call to understand the vital historical connection between circumcision and baptism certainly deals with the errors of the Anabaptists, but when rightly understood, the progressive nature of revelation also exposes the use of paedobaptism as a connection with the Old Covenant as entirely bogus.
or Thirty Pieces of Silver
“A Christian culture is a culture of opportunity because it is a culture that flows from the Covenant.”
The Bible Matrix is found throughout the Bible. It is the shape of Creation but it is also the shape of Covenant. It is the process of promise and fulfilment. We see it in Eden. We see it in Canaan. Every Covenant is a mission, a tour of duty, resulting in a safe place to live, a home of abundance, peace and glory. It should be no surprise to Christians that it is also the process that underpins economic growth.
The Living Dead and the Dead Living
Creation: In part 1 we saw that the theme of the first stanza of 2 Thessalonians 2 was the “Sabbath” rest of the church. Paul writes to remove the alarm caused by the “conspiracy theorists” who attempted to disturb it.
Division: The second stanza concerned the splitting of the church into two — those who would persevere despite the growing threat of tribulation throughout the empire , and those who would succumb to their fears. The attacks would culminate in the completion of Herod’s Temple and the Nero’s burning of Rome in AD64. The first threw doubt upon the words of Christ concerning the Temple, and the second, though hardly believed, was an excuse to scapegoat this new Jew-Gentile sect, now legally separated from the protection afforded to Jews by Rome. The gospel tore Judaism in two. Then it united those believing Jews with Gentiles. But as in the wilderness, new Israel would be threshed and purified.
When Sam Frost reviewed Bible Matrix, he was a full preterist. What changed his mind was the Bible’s inescapable trajectory, its relentless reach towards maturity and glory.
From Sam’s blog:
Mike Bull has recently sent me his new book, Bible Matrix II: The Covenant Key (Westbow Press, 2011). Like his Bible Matrix, this one is full of “patterns”. Did you ever think that Esther, probably one of the most neglected books in the Bible, was covenantal in structure and outline? That it speaks directly to us? Get ahold of Bull’s “key” and you will.
That You May Prosper: Dominion by Covenant by Ray R. Sutton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As Doug Wilson says, when you first discover the hammer you think everything looks like a nail. Continue reading
There is great advantage in tracking the shape of God’s work in history through the Old Testament. This is because God is consistent. Everything He does has the same shape, even though He does it in new and surprising (and sometimes devastating) ways.
One of the big handles in Scripture is the five-fold Covenant pattern, described by Ray Sutton in his book, “That You May Prosper: Dominion by Covenant.” Continue reading
“Let’s face it, even daytime television
is more inspiring than your sermons.”
Ray Sutton’s 5-point Covenant model is crucial when it comes to making sense of the judgments of God, both the blessings and the curses. As he says in his book That You May Prosper, “Everyone talks about the Covenant, but nobody does anything about it.”
When I was writing Totus Christus, I thought it was only natural that the 7-point Creation pattern and the 5-point Covenant pattern could be combined. Transcendence is Light. Testing and Ethics matched. The positive and negative Sanctions were quite obviously the two goats on the Day of Atonement (Ebal and Gerizim). So it was only a matter of figuring out how the 5 of Words becomes a 7 in history.  Continue reading
The content of this post has been revised and included in Bible Matrix II: The Covenant Key.
 See Behold Your Mother.
 See Incantation or Incarnation.
 Ray R. Sutton, That You May Prosper, pp. 73-75. Forget Calvin. Forget Barth. This book is a must-read.
 See Little Man With No Hair and Veiled Lawlessness.
or Insanity and Spiritual Songs
Van Gogh’s work has been regarded by some as “hallucinatory,” however his letters show that few artists were as intelligent and rational. His work was not the product of his dark times but of his struggle against them.
“I am feeling well just now… I am not strictly speaking mad, for my mind is absolutely normal in the intervals, and even more so than before. But during the attacks it is terrible—and then I lose consciousness of everything. But that spurs me on to work and to seriousness, as a miner who is always in danger and makes haste in what he does.” 
or Sword Swallowers
Part 1 is here.
Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.” But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.” (Matthew 20:20-23)
When we say “Amen,” we’d better mean it. It is a reception of the Covenant, binding us to it legally for better or worse. Ray Sutton writes: