Redemptive Theology

The teaching that “Redemptive Theology” as separate from the traditional ones of Systematic, Biblical, Covenant, and Dispensationalism has taken hold in the past few years. This theology has at its heart a redemptive-historical hermeneutic instead of the grammatical-historical of the more traditional ones.

Redemptive-historical (hermeneutical) preaching is a method of preaching that emerged from the Reformed churches of the Netherlands in the early 1940s. The debate concerned itself with the question: “How are we to preach the historical (Old Testament) narratives of the Bible?”

The revelation of God’s plan and provision of Redemption is “progressive” is in view of the forward movement of Biblical history, starting with the sin (fall) of Adam and Eve in Genesis chapter 3 in all of its twists and turns, toward its intended goal, Christ (the Seed of Eve).

In Redemptive theology, redemption is a metaphor for what is achieved through the Atonement of Christ. The term “Redemption” in Christian theology refers to the mystery of God’s deliverance of mankind from the evil of sin and His restoration of man to the state of grace by an act of divine power and merciful love.

Salvation history traces a pattern of God’s redemptive activity and will provide many of the theological categories within which Redemptive Theology will reflect upon the decisive and definitive Redemption that God works in behalf of mankind in and through Christ.

Advocates of “redemptive-historical” argued that Old Testament narratives are not primarily to be moral examples, but as revelations of the coming Messiah. The narratives of the Old Testament served as types and shadows pointing forward in history to the time when Israel’s messiah would be revealed in the person and work of Jesus.

Advocates of redemptive-historical preaching believe application is necessary. However, the main controversy surrounding this preaching method is the question whether or not using the characters of the Bible as moral examples for the believers today diminishes Christ as the center of the text.

Opponents of redemptive historical preaching fault this type of preaching as being weak when it comes to practical application of the Bible. They believe moral examples given in Scripture are undermined or diminished, and that redemptive-historical preaching can fail to challenge the listener to conduct consistent with Scriptural direction given in places such as Matthew 5-7, and Romans and other Pauline Epistles.

This group sees Old Testament Bible characters/stories as a collection of abstract moral principles. Supporters of redemptive-historical preaching draw heavily upon the text of Luke 24:27, where Jesus is teaching the disciples on the road to Emmaus: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself”.

The term “Redemption” in Christian theology refers to the mystery of God’s deliverance of mankind from the evil of sin and His restoration of man to the state of grace by an act of divine power and merciful love. This redemptive act spans the whole of man’s history from the time of his first sin and fall from grace. “God … wishes all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth” (1 Tm 2.4).

One of the most exciting discoveries we can make is the seeing how Scripture (Bible a story of redemption) progressively bears witness to Christ and His redemptive plan.

Our opinion of God’s Covenant relationship with man has great influence on how we interpret Scripture. 

To learn more about God’s Covenant check out my ebook:

God’s Covenant

Other Theologies:

Biblical Theology

Covenant Theology 

Dispensational Theology

Systematic Theology 

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