The Gospel Solution by Tom Weaver

Weaver offers a view of the Gospels and the teachings of Christ which he calls “transitionalism.” His premise is that most of what Jesus taught was not intended to be applied directly to the church age. Rather, Jesus was setting the stage for New Testament theology by demonstrating that living under the Law and up to God’s standards, was impossible. Therefore, when we recognize our inability to live perfect lives we are not to despair but to embrace God’s grace. Jesus’ primary purpose was not to instruct the church; it is the purpose of the epistles to do that. Jesus was showing us the impossibility of life under the Law in order to convict men of their need, preparing them to repent and receive grace (pp. 30-32). Weaver has created the term “transitionalism,” but actually it is has many similarities to both dispensationalism and New Covenant theology.

Overall I thought the book to be excellent with good exegesis, appropriate illustrations and an easy to read style. Chapters 10 and 13, however, left something to be desired. As Weaver made specific application of his system to the areas of church discipline and divorce, I believe he missed the mark. His conclusions seemed to be that church discipline is impossible to practice and, while God hates divorce, He will get over it and so should we. Weaver promises that transitionalism will not give us an excuse to sin (p. 269) but I fear, unfortunately in these two areas, it does—at least as he interprets things.

Despite these concerns, The Gospel Solution is well worth reading, as I believe Weaver is fundamentally correct in his approach.