Richard Belcher, Jr.’s The Fulfillment of the Promises of God: An Explanation of Covenant Theology is another recent introduction to covenant theology.
In chapter 1 Belcher briefly states why covenant theology is an important topic of study: (1) Many churches confess the Westminster Standards, which teaches covenant theology. (2) Covenant theology is fundamental to the structure of Scripture. (3) Covenant theology is central to the “outworking of God’s plan of salvation.”
Belcher also defines the term covenant in this chapter. “The word ‘covenant’ (běr’t) refers to a legal agreement between two parties that is ratified by certain rituals that emphasize the binding nature of the agreement” (18).
He also briefly defines the covenant of redemption: “The Covenant of Redemption, also called the pactum salutis (a counsel of peace), is a pre-temporal agreement between the members of the Trinity concerning the different roles each member would perform to bring about the salvation of God’s people” (19). He defends the doctrine: “The biblical basis for the Covenant of Redemption is found in passages that describe the relationship between the Father and the Son as conditioned on the obedience of the Son with the promise of reward (John 10:18; 12:49; 14:31: 15:10; 17:4; Phil. 2:8; Heb. 5:8; 10:5-10). Covenantal language of being bound by oath is used to describe this relationship (Isa. 45:23 used in Phil. 2:10-11; Ps. 110:1, 4).”
Belcher closes the chapter by recognizing the variety that exists among covenant theologians. He notes that his purpose is” to set forth standard reformed covenant theology” (21) which he understands to be the covenant theology of the Westminster Standards.
This was a good, basic introductory chapter. I would note that his treatment of the covenant of redemption is significantly shorter than Myers’s treatment in God to Us. However, Belcher will conclude his book with several chapters surveying alternate versions of covenant theology, something Myers chose not to include as part of his book’s scope.