There Really Is a Difference by Renald E. Showers

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This volume is a solid comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology. Although the author strongly holds to dispensationalism, I believe he is fair in his depiction of the covenantal view. Showers lays out both positions, evaluates them, and comes down on the side of dispensationism. Along the way we are given an examination of the major Old Testament covenants (Abrahamic, Davidic, Palestinian and New), discussions of the history and theological positions relative to the Millennium, and a good presentation of the dispensational understanding of Law and grace in the church age. Showers, along with many dispensationalists, believes that the church, while having no part in the physical aspects of the New Covenant, nevertheless participates in the spiritual benefits of that Covenant. I remain unconvinced, seeing the New Covenant as given to Israel and having nothing to do with the church.

Dr. Showers is a professor and that fact is easily discernible in his writing style. On the positive side he is understandable and extremely thorough. On the other hand he will “list” you to death. There were occasions when I was following along content as a fruit fly (first, second, third…) when he slipped in another set of firsts, seconds, thirds, only to return to the first list (fourth, fifth, etc.), which would lead to another list. No biggy, it just causes the reading to be a little slow and occasionally confusing.

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