Covenant theology

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o of the most dominant streams in the river of evangelical theology are Dispensationalism and Covenant (or Reformed) Theology. Dispensationalism was initially formulated in the late 1800s by Irish preacher John N. Darby, popularized by the Scofield Reference Bible and numerous Bible conferences, and is taught in most North American Bible colleges. The best-known Dispensational seminary is Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas. Well-known Dispensationalists include Charles Swindoll, Charles Ryrie, and Kay Arthur. Covenant theology has roots in the writing of Augustine and John Calvin, but was more clearly defined in the British Westminster Confession of Faith and leaders of the Dutch Reformation. It has recently been popularized in the Geneva Study Bible. Well known Reformed/Covenant leaders include R.C. Sproul and J.I. Packer. This system is taught at schools such as Reformed Theological Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary.

These two systems share many common, orthodox convictions about Biblical prophecy. Both systems believe in the literal, future return of Christ. They both affirm God’s future judgment of the righteous and the wicked. They both believe in the translation of the saints into glory, and in the resurrection of the just.