Paper reflects on covenant theology, democracy, racism in U.S.
November 9, 2017
In the eighth installment of Theological Conversations for 2017, the Theology, Formation & Evangelism ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) presents Redeeming Covenant: A Critical Reflection on Puritan Covenant Theology, Democracy and Racism in the U.S.
Written by Hak Joon Lee, PhD, the Lewis B. Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary, Redeeming Covenant reflects on the influence Puritans had on theology, democracy and racism in the United States.
“During the anniversary year of Reformation 500, Lee draws our attention to the promise and pitfalls of covenant theology in the U.S., while we have just adopted The Belhar Confession,” said the Rev. Michelle J. Bartel, who recently served as coordinator of Theological Education and Seminary Relations in the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
“It’s a great resource for us to consider our teaching on sin and forgiveness, while addressing the present and persistent problem of racism in our country and congregations.”
In Redeeming Covenant, Lee examines the mistake Puritans made because of their inability to understand that the essence and core of covenant theology always has a liberating message. “Covenant theology is not racism,” he writes, “because it coincides with the basic narrative of the Bible that essentially moves to the axis of ‘liberation-restoration.’ In other words, it always has a structure from liberation to restoration.”
Bartel hopes Redeeming Covenant will help Presbyterians think about baptism, worship and other elements of our shared Christian life “to renew and sustain us as Christ’s disciples who seek justice.” Bartel added that “authentic grounding in covenant theology that reflects God promise for freedom provides a way to address racism’s religious origins in the founding of the U.S.”
Paul Seebeck, Mission Communications Strategist, Video and Digital Asset Management, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Today’s Focus: Redeeming Covenant: A Critical Reflection on Puritan Covenant Theology, Democracy and Racism in the U.S.
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
Holy God, you call us to love you with our minds. Bless those who are devoted to the study and teaching of theological disciplines. By their fruits, strengthen our minds and wills and so bless your church. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.