[ 1 minutes to read ]This book sets out the view of 1689 federalism and does a good job distinguishing between different covenant theology views. Johnson provides a good explanation, then, of the difference between a full covenant theology, like that of Presbyterians, and the covenant theology of Reformed Baptists. So this book provides a good basis of why I am neither Presbyterian nor Reformed Baptist, though this is not all that could be said on that. The issues are core fundamental hermeneutic issues. 1689 Federalism is distinct from covenant theology but still holds to a dichotomous view of the Abrahamic covenant and partially conflates the covenants, coming near the covenant theology view of monocovenant and polyadministration. Of course, this hermeneutic yields the typical conventions of amillennialism, i.e., supersessionism, already/not yet kingdom, already/not yet binding of Satan, etc.
I was surprised, but delighted, that Johnson pointed out errors with the covenantal nomism of New Perspective and Federal Vision. There is a lot of good in this book and it is a good treatment of the biblical theology of covenants and kingdom. I appreciated the author’s tone and approach. I didn’t detect the condescension and dismissive that can often accompany these discussions. Johnson was fair in presenting his views and this is the type of writing that can be helpful, even where you disagree.