Who Is Friedrich D. E. Schleiermacher?

Who is Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher? (a) A nineteenth century German theologian?  (b) A pietistic pastor with a funny name?  (c) The father of liberal theology? (d) Or the unknown philosopher whose views on religious experience have shaped much of evangelical theology?

How about (e) All of the above?  Amazingly, Schleiermacher’s approach to theology has both influenced two hundred years of liberal theology and is still influencing evangelical thought more than two-centuries later.  While most who know his name associate him with liberalism, many who do not know him are unaware at how much his brand of Christianity is being reproduced in Christendom today. For that reason, the question “Who is Friedrich Schleiermacher?” is of vital importance today.

The influence of this nineteenth-century German theologian on contemporary theology can hardly be overestimated.  Although most Christians have never heard of Schleiermacher, his ideas about religion in general and Christianity in particular have trickled down to them through the theological education of their pastors, denomination leaders, favorite religious authors and college teachers.  His influence is subtle but persuasive in Western Christianity.  He is to Christian theology what Newton is to physics, what Freud is to psychology and what Darwin is to biology.  That is to say, he may be the absolute authority, but he was the trailblazer and trendsetter, the one thinker subsequent theologians cannot ignore (Roger Olson and Stanley Grenz, 20th-Century Theology: God & The World in a Transitional Age [Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1992], 39).

Olson and Grenz’s appraisal needs qualification but is broadly correct.  Just as Freud and Darwin have set the pace for certain kinds of (secular) psychology and biology, so Schleiermacher has blazed a trail for liberal theology–the theology usually associated with mainline denominations.  However, as in the case of psychology and biology, the conservative world has not been unaffected.  Where Christian psychologists and biologists must interact with the secular or evolutionary theories of the day, so conservative theologians must interact with the liberal views that arose from Schleiermacher.

Yet, another qualification is needed.  Schleiermacher’s theology is not just “out there.”  His feelings-based, experiential form of religion has permeated conservative evangelicalism.  Even in churches that confessionally affirm the inerrancy of the Bible and the objective work of salvation, many live by their feelings.  They look for the next word from God to them, the next experience.  Instead of walking by faith that is grounded in God’s specific promises, they walk with an ambiguous God conscience and God dependence.

Just listen to the banter of Christian radio.  What Matt Papa has recently critiqued in his thoughtful series of posts on CCM is nothing but Schleiermacherianism (I know, that is mouthful). But it is true.  On the other side of the “Battle for the Bible”– a battle that continues today–most evangelicals are uninformed about the pernicious battle for the Christian mind.

Instead of thinking diligently about matters of faith (2 Tim 2:7) and loving God with all their mind (Mark 12:29-30), too many simply imbibe a kind of Christianity that is replete with appeals for emotion, ethical living, imitations of Christ, and God-dependence.  Because ‘God,’ ‘Scripture,’ ‘Jesus,’ ‘faith,’ and other buzz words are employed, many evangelicals think they are being biblical and growing in grace.  And praise God, many are; but many more may be influenced by the spirit of Schleiermacher more than the Spirit of Christ. Over the next few days we will consider who this man is, and how an awareness of his theology may serve evangelicals by

The goal is not to commend his theology or his method, but to show how his theological method is similar to what passes as standard fare among many evangelicals today.  My hope is to introduce this man and his theology, so that we will be better able to see the way his kind rationalistic Romanticism has infected the church today.  I fear that unless we learn to see this hyper-subjective brand of Christianity, there will be many for whom the gospel will implode–theology will become anthropology.  This happened in the past with classical liberalism, and it could again happen among evangelicals–especially among those who are emphasizing the personal, subjective experience over the sovereign act of God in salvation.

Of course, we need both, but in our day, the pendulum needs to swing back toward the objective work of Christ.  I believe getting to know Friedrich Schleiermacher may be the historical figure to help us see the far-reaching dangers of experience-based Christianity.  And hopefully, it will bring us back towards the unmistakably God-centered gospel where the Triune God is the Lord of salvation (Jonah 2:9).

This week, I will be running a series of posts on Schleiermacher–his life, theology, and its impact on evangelicals today.  Hope you will tune in.

Soli Deo Gloria, dss

For Your Edification (4.30.12)

For Your Edification is a weekly set of resources on the subjects of Bible, Theology, Ministry, and Family Life.  Let me know what you think or if you have other resources that growing Christians should be aware.  

BIBLE

The Case for Adam and Eve. In case you haven’t noticed, the historicity of Adam is once again under attack.  Groups like BioLogos and books like The Evolution of Adam (both of which are led or authored by Peter Enns) have recalled the question of Adam’s historical reality. Since evolution is still a topic promoted in schools and assumed in the media, this is an important discussion.  Thankfully, scholars like C. John Collins have given compelling evidence–biblical and otherwise–to help us see how Adam’s historicity is possible and why it matters.  In this interview, Professor Collins answers some important questions.  See also his recent book, Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?

The Whole Bible For Our Whole Lives. Our Presbyterian brother, Stephen Um interviews Richard Lints, asking him to discuss how biblical theology helps us read the Bible.  For me, reading Lints book,  The Fabric of Theology, was revolutionary.  He introduced me to the idea of reading each passage of Scripture in light of the textual, epochal, and canonical horizons.  In other words, he gave me terminology (which he got from Edmund Clowney) to describe how each text fits into the larger network of texts, chapters, books, and testaments known as the Bible. Every week, when I preach, I am looking to see the “micro-context” (trees) and the “macro-context” (the forest).  Why? Because men like Richard Lints showed me how to read the Bible as one unified story.  I encourage you to listen in on their six minute conversation.

THEOLOGY

The Old Testament and Providence. Kevin DeYoung provides a helpful overview of God’s purposeful providence in the history of Old Testament Israel.  It is a lengthy read, but one that is filled with strong biblical insights.

Jonathan Edwards of Typology. Douglas Wilson (pastor, theologian, author, and all-around literati) and Joe Rigney (Bethlehem College and Seminary) sit down to discuss Jonathan Edwards.  In this video they discuss his spiritual and sometimes speculative view of the two books of God–Scripture and Nature.

Take a look.

FAMILY, LIFE, & MINISTRY

Know Your Evangelicals. Joe Carter has begun to give short bios on evangelicals that every gospel-loving Christian should know.  In the first week, he has highlighted prison minister Charles Colson, cultural warrior Francis Schaeffer, and slave emancipator William Wilberforce.  Another, short book that provides similar information is Warren Wiersbe’s 50 People Every Christian Should Know: Learning from Spiritual Giants of the Faith.

Speaking the Gospel in an Age of Intolerance.  Ron Brown, assistant football coach at Nebraska, has come under fire for his opposition to a recent ammendment to a local ordinance in Omaha, Nebraska.  As the city seeks to add a clause protecting homosexuals, Brown stood up and spoke against it.  He has received great criticism for his stance and may face censure by his employer.  His public witness is bold, but his rationale is what makes the story so important.  As a bondslave to Christ, he wants to be found faithful to his master, and more than seeing homosexuals become heterosexual; he wants unbelievers to trust in Christ. He states,

It is not all about seeing homosexuals become hetereosexuals. This is not the message of the gospel. The gospel is about all types of sinners (like me) who are unbelievers becoming believers. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not discriminatory, it is all inclusive: we are all sinners. I am pretty consistent in talking to all types of people about Christ. This is the thing that encourages me in this whole thing: the gospel of Christ is being presented. God will forgive people. He will give a clean-slate to all who turn from sin and trust in Jesus.

May we all be so bold.

An Anchor for the Soul

[This article was originally featured in our hometown newspaper, The Seymour Tribune].

What does God promise his children?  Help for today?  Eternal life for the future? Healing from disease? A boat for the lake?

How we answer these questions will determine how we approach life and God. Our prayers, our plans, and our personal finances will reflect our answer, or non-answer, to this question: What does God promise those who believe in him?

Hebrews 6:19 gives one answer.  In a sermonic letter given to first century Jews, the author of Hebrews states, “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain.”  Using imagery from the Old Testament, this statement conveys an idea of security and access that God gives to those who continue to trust in Christ.

Notice a couple things.  First, the anchor is sure and steadfast.  Unlike the insurance plans or storm shelters we buy for our protection, this anchor comes without any riders or restrictions.  Indeed, it is not a thing which might break; it is a divine person whose pierced hands hold those who believe on him (John 10:29-30).

Second, the anchor is connected behind the curtain.  This curtain refers to the temple veil that hid the presence of God from the Jewish priests in first century Jerusalem.  Thus, while Jesus was fully human, the fact that he could freely pass behind the veil speaks of his eternal deity.

Indeed, Jesus was not merely a spiritual person who had a special access to God.  He was God in the flesh, which means that as the anchor of the Christian’s soul, his grip on humanity was secure as he was human, and his hold on heaven was as strong as he was divine.  In short, Jesus will stop being human or cease being God before his anchor fails.

Third, the anchor tethers the soul—not the body—to an eternal hope.  This is critical because it seems that sometimes God lets, even brings, storms into our calm waters.  In these moments, we are tempted to re-read the fine print to find out what we have done wrong.  We forget that God is forging an eternal soul with temporary means.

In fact, nowhere in God’s agreement does he promise placid seas.  Just the opposite: “Through many tribulations will you enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).  He tells his followers that it will be hard (John 16:33), but he also promises that he will anchor our souls.

This is the promise that he makes to those who believe in him.  He promises his presence today and resurrection tomorrow.  Even when the ships in your fleet are sinking, he promises to be the anchor of your soul.   This is the kind of promise he makes to believers, and he never breaks his word.

 

For Your Edification (4.27.12)

For Your Edification is a weekly set of resources on the subjects of Bible, Theology, Ministry, and Family Life.  Let me know what you think or if you have other resources that growing Christians should be aware.  

BIBLE

A Smoking Fire Pot and a Flaming Torch. Matthew Barrett, editor behind Credo Magazine, has given a brief overview of Genesis 15 and the significance of the covenant made by God with Abraham.  He argues that the conditions of the Abrahamic covenant are fulfilled by God himself, thus making the covenant (un)conditional. For more on the (un)conditional nature of the Old Testament covenants see the forthcoming book, Kingdom Through Covenant by two Southern Seminary professors, Stephen Wellum and Peter Gentry.

‘Covenant’ or ‘Will’ in Hebrews 9. For the aspiring biblical interpreter (with a little Greek knowledge), Bill Mounce has provided a helpful commentary on Hebrews 9:16-17, and why it should be translated “covenant” (NASB, KJV) and not “will” (ESV, NIV, etc).  He questions,

The standard argument is that the author is arguing by analogy. Having mentioned an inheritance, he talks about human wills not being valid until there was a death. “For where there is a covenant, it is required that the death of the one who made it be established. For a will takes effect only when a person has died; it cannot possibly be valid so long as the one who made it is still alive” (vv 16-17, NIV). The will belongs to “the one who made it.” Hence, the translation “will” and not “covenant.” (There are of course other reasons, but you can read the commentaries for yourself.)

The problem, though, is that it is hard to see how an analogy of a will helps the argument. The overall argument is certainly about the covenants. And just as importantly, the next verse draws a conclusion from vv 16-17. “Therefore (ὅθεν) not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood” (v 18, NIV). So are we still are talking about covenants?

Check out the rest at The Koinonia Blog.

THEOLOGY

Are Mormons Christian?  Joe Carter has taken the time to answer a few important questions that distinguish Christians and Mormons.  Since public religious figures (I don’t want to use the word pastor) like Joel Osteen have dropped the ball on rightly answering this question, we need to be better equipped to offer insight into what Mormon’s believe–after all, in a few months our country will probably be voting for or against a Mormon.  So here is a fast and friendly guide to understanding some of the main teachings about Mormons, and the false views they hold.  I would encourage you to print this out and keep it near the front door for the next time they come by.

FAMILY, LIFE, & MINISTRY

Ten Narnia Resources.  Andy Naselli, theologian, author, and librarian of all things Carson, has provided the ultimate Resource Guide for The Chronicles of Narnia.  If you are reading or will read C. S. Lewis’s series of children’s books to your children, be sure to check out his cautions as well as his commendations.

Chuck Colson (1931-2012). In the NY Times, Michael Gerson has provided a warm, personal, and Christ-honoring reflection of the passing away of his mentor and friend, Chuck Colson.  Chuck Colson was indicted in 1974 in his role in Watergate.  In prison he was converted, and over the last three and half decades, he has powerfully witnessed to the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.  For a list of his important books, see Tom Gilson’s article on Colson’s life.

The Ugly American – Sex Trafficking and Our National Humiliation. In light of the recent Secret Service scandal in Colombia, Albert Mohler writes an eye-opening piece on something that most Americans are willfully or ignorantly blind to–sex trafficking!  He cites two recent reports in USA Today and the NY Times that chronicle the sex trafficking America (not just Americans) finances.  Mohler’s articles displays how far sin has taken us, and how sexual sin has an insatiable appetite for more and more perversion.  For a ministry that fights sex trafficking and promotes purity, see PureHOPE website.

May God use these resources to help you walk in a manner worthy of the gospel.

Speaking of the Trinity

Keith Johnson, in his insightful new book, Rethinking the Trinity and Religious Pluralismprovides a concise survey of Augustine’s trinitarian theology.  He marks four traits about Augustine that are often obscured or slanted (52-55):

(1) Key to Augustine’s understanding of the trinity was the “inseparable operation” of the divine persons, meaning that in creation and salvation all members of the trinity were at work together–the Father as the Father, the Son as the Son, the Spirit as the Spirit.

(2) Augustine’s massive volume on the trinity is grounded in Scripture.  In fact, the first seven chapters are pure exegesis, and in hiw whole work he cites 6,800 biblical citations and allusions!  Despite contrary opinion, he is not a speculative theologian.  He cites from every book in the New Testament, minus Philemon, and twenty-seven Old Testament books as he makes a biblical, theological argument for the Trinity in chapters 1-7 and then as he considers how we might make sense of the Trinity in chapters 8-15 of the De Trinitate.

(3) “Despite popular claims to the contrary,” Johnson states, “Augustine’s teaching does not stand in sharp contrast to the trinitarian theology of the Cappadocians” (54).  Cf. Lewis Ayre’sAugustine and the Trinity.

(4) Augustine’s doctrine progresses over time.  Since his classic work took two decades to produce (AD 400-420), there is development in his understanding.  Johnson cites Ayres, “Augustine moves ‘towards a sophisticated account of the divine communion as resulting from the eternal intra-divine acts of the divine three” (Augustine and the Trinity3).

Two Rules By Which Augustine Interpreted Trinitarian Texts.

After presenting these basics, Johnson outlines three material ways that Augustine approached difficult texts about the Son.  He provides a handful of hermeneutical “rules” that serve current interpreters well as they come to the difficulty of reconciling passages that say things about God that seem to be in tension.

Combining these two rules, New Testament references to Christ can be grouped into three categories: (1) texts that refer to Son in the ‘form of God,’ in which he is equal to the Father (e.g., Jn 10:30; Phil 2:6); (2) texts that refer to the Son in the ‘form of a servant,’ in which he is ‘less’ than the Father (e.g., Jn 14:28); and (3) texts that suggest the Son is from the Father (e.g., Jn 5:19, 26)” (De Trinitate, 2.3, 98) (Keith Johnson, Rethinking the Trinity and Religious Pluralism62).

Keith Johnson summarizes a hermeneutical rule that Augustine employed to discern different way in which Scripture spoke about the two natures of Christ:

In the form of God, Christ created all things (Jn 1:3), while in the form of a servant he was born of a woman (Gal 4:4).  In the form of God, Christ is equal to the Father (Jn 10:30), while in the form of a servant he obeys the Father (Jn 6:38). In the form of God, Christ is ‘true God’ (1 Jn 5:20), while in the form of a servant he is obedient to the point of death (Phil 2:8).  These two ‘forms’ exist in one person–the Son of God (De Trinitate, 1.28, 86) (Keith Johnson, Rethinking the Trinity and Religious Pluralism60).

Last, Johnson points out another ‘rule’ that Augustine used to handle texts that speak of the Father sending the Son, or texts which speak of the Son coming from the Father.  Commenting on John 5:19, 26, Augustine observes,

So the reason for these statements can only be that the life of the Son is unchanging like the Father’s, and yet is from the Father [v. 26]; and that the work of the Father and Son is indivisible, and yet the Son’s working is from the Father just as he himself is from the Father [v. 19]; and the way in which the Son sees the Father is simply by being the Son (De Trinitate2.3, 99; quoted by Keith Johnson, Rethinking the Trinity and Religious Pluralism62).

In general, these ‘rules’ while not commanded in Scripture, come from someone who is saturated with the Bible, and who models well an approach to understanding the Trinity from the text of the Bible.  Next time you read 1 Corinthians 15:20-28, Philippians 2:5-11, or John 5, 8, or 10 consider how these rules might serve your understanding of the glorious relationship between Father and Son.

And if you have never read, Augustine’s De Trinitate, it is worth the effort.  The first half is Bible-rich, while the second half engages in epistemic reflection on how we might best understand the Trinity through the use of analogies.  For Augustine, these analogies are not paradigmatic or authoritative, so much as they are ministerial.  They help him and put in words an  understanding of the three-in-one, even while each of the proposal ultimately fails.

May we have eyes to see the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as we read the Bible, not as blind monotheists, but as worshipers of the Triune God.

Soli Deo Gloria, dss

Babylon: A Typology

Babylon functions as a negative type in the biblical storyline, one that is important to notice and understand as you read through Scripture.

In Genesis 11, the secular spirit of Babylon is introduced; it continues through the Old Testament, as the nation-state of Babylon arises and opposes God’s people; and finally in the New Testament, Babylon’s reach extends beyond the Fertile Crescent to engulf Rome and all those nations who oppose the City of God.  According to Revelation 18, the Babylonian harlot seduces men and women to drink her intoxicating liquor.  The final result is destruction of Babylon, but today that great spiritual city continues to proliferate.

In his book, The Progress of Redemption, Willem Van Gemeren gives a helpful synopsis of the negative type of Babylon.

“Babel/Babylon becomes in the Bible a symbol of self-restraint, imperialistic secularism: control without accountability to the Creator.  The spirit of secularism can coexist with religions and deities, but not with the absolutism of the Creator-God.  Humanism and secularism are bound to run counter to theism.  Isaiah saw this spirit in the imperial ambitions of Assyria and Babylon (10:7-11; 14:4-6; 47:5-7, 10).  John the apostle symbolically speaks of the Roman Empire and all kingdoms to follow as Babylon the Great. Babylon, the seducer of nations, kings, and merchants will fall (Rev. 18)” (Van Gemeren, The Progress of Redemption90).

Thankfully, Christ has defeated every work of the devil (1 John 3:8), and has successfully delivered the death blow to the serpent and his city.  Yet, until Christ returns the spirit of Babel will plague society, inviting human ingenuity and progress to appear more powerful and appealing than the wisdom of a crucified Jew.  Yet, God’s wisdom will prove true in the end.

Trust that Christ is preparing his city, and on that final day, he will return to sweep aside Babylon and establish the New Jerusalem.  Which city are you looking forward to?

May we turn away from Babel and all it offers, and turn towards the city whose architect and builder is God.

Soli Deo Gloria, dss

 

God’s Wise Restraint: Reflections on Common Grace

Common grace.  It is a term and idea that is helpful and necessary for understanding God’s relationship with a fallen world.  Wayne Grudem in his Systematic Theology defines common grace as “the grace of God by which he gives people innumerable blessings that are not part of salvation.”

However, it is more than just non-salvific blessings.  It is also the restraint of sin in the world.  So, in their treatment of common grace, J. van Genderen, W.H. Velema (Concise Reformed Dogmatics) maintain that common grace: (1) postpones full punishment for sin, (2) bridles the effects of the curse on nature and humanity, and (3) endows creatures made in God’s image to experience the richness and fullness of God’s world.

This week, I found another helpful articulation of all that God did in the very beginning to “bridle the effects of the curse on nature and humanity.”  Writing about God’s relationship with fallen humanity, Willem Van Gemeren lists seven ways that God works to restrain sin.  Each of these are explicated in the first 11 chapters of Genesis.

“God’s fatherly concern and love for his creation is also evidenced by his restraining the power of sin in the world.  In [Genesis] 3, 6, and 11, he (1) put ‘enmity’ between man and evil (3:15); (2) caused human beings to become occupied with their creaturely existence (vv. 16-19); (3) decreed a natural end to human physical existence (v. 19b); (4) expelled Adam and Eve from the garden so as to keep them from another offense; (5) reduced the human life span to 120 years (6:3); (6) instituted responsibility, justice, and the law of retaliation (vv. 5-6); and (7) broke up the solidarity of humankind by the introduction of languages (11:1-9)” (Van Gemeren, The Progress of Redemption86).

In all these ways, God sovereignly restrained the collective power and productivity of mankind.  God’s lovingkindness is not only seen in salvation; it is also seen in his sovereign rule over sinful humanity.  He has preserved the world in such a way as to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth (Matt 24:14; Acts 1:8).

May we give thanks to God for his saving grace, but may we also learn to worship him for his common grace.  And may we see how God’s common grace in the world is a means by which we can enter into conversation and dialogue with others about God’s saving grace.

Soli Deo Gloria, dss

Slugs and Bugs and Lullabies

One of our favorite things to listen to at our house is Andrew Peterson and Randall Goodgame’s Slugs and Bugs and Lullabies.  Recently, I discovered that they have been making clever music videos and sticking them up on YouTube.  Here is a sampling.  The first two have solid Christian teachings for kids; the last two are plain silly.  All four are great to share with your kids.




If you are not familiar with Andrew Peterson and Randall Goodgame, make sure you check them out. AP’s Christmas album Behold The Lamb ranks in my top ten of all albums of all time.  It is biblical theology in song.  And Randall Goodgame has written numerous songs played by other artists.  Perhaps my favorite its “Mystery of Mercy.”

Soli Deo Gloria, dss

A Covenant with Creation: Isaiah’s Reading of Genesis 1 and 2

Yesterday, I cited Willem Van Gemeren’s reading of Jeremiah 31 and 33 to argue for a covenantal reading of Genesis 1-2.  Today, I will cite his observations on Isaiah.  Van Gemeren writes,

Isaiah’s language of God’s covenantal commitment is a most important commentary on Genesis 1 and 2.  he uses words for creation (‘form,’ ‘make,’ ‘create’) not only to refer to God’s creative activities in forming the world but also to signify God’s election, grace, love, and loyalty to Israel.  The words for creation are, therefore, also covenantal terms” (Van Gemeren, The Progress of Redemption63).

Van Gemeren seems to be picking up in the prophets (Jeremiah and Isaiah) the sense in which these biblical writers are understanding God’s role in creation as initiating a covenantal relationship.  In fact, in the same paragraph as the previous quotation, Van Gemeren observes, “An individual’s life in the presence of God is an expression of covenant (the technical term defining relationship between two or more parties)” (63).

For me, Jeremiah and Isaiah are two lines of evidence that I had not previously considered about reading a covenant in creation.  I think they are helpful, and show how Genesis 1-2 does include a covenant, something that the OT prophets (Hos 6:7) and NT apostles (cf. Rom 5:12ff) developed to help explain God’s relationship with the world.

Soli Deo Gloria, dss

A Covenant with Creation: Jeremiah’s Reading of Genesis 1

There has been much discussion on whether or not Genesis 1 and 2 involve a covenant with Adam or with creation.  Scholars like Paul Williamson, Sealed with an Oathhave vehemently denied it; others like William Dumbrell, Creation and Covenanthave affirmed it. While the term “covenant” (berith) does not appear in Genesis 1-2, I am persuaded by a number of factors (e.g. the reference to a covenant with Adam in Hos 6:7; the implicit blessings and curses motif in Genesis 1-2, and the reference to ‘establishing’ a pre-existing covenant in Genesis 6-8) that there is a covenant with creation.

Another argument for such a covenant can be found in Jeremiah, where the post-exilic prophet grounds the new covenant in God’s covenantal relationship with creation.  Willem Van Gemeren’s explanation gets at the reasoning in Jeremiah.

“When Jeremiah refers to God’s covenant with day and night and the fixed laws of heaven and earth” (Jer 33:25), the term ‘covenant’ (berith) is parallel to ‘fixed laws’ (huqqot, Job 38:33; Jer 31:35; and huqqim, Jer 31:36).  For Jeremiah, God’s gracious and free relationship with heaven, earth, sun, moon, stars, and the sea is evident by the regularity of day and night, the seasons, and the ebb and flow of the sea.  It is a picture of his special covenant relationship with his people.  Jeremiah argues that, since God keeps covenant with creation, he will even more surely take care of his covenant children (vv. 35-36; 33:25-26) and the descendents of David, to whom he also covenanted his fidelity (v. 26; cf. 2 Sam 7:15) (Van Gemeren, The Progress of Redemption, 60).

What do you think?  Williamson and Dumbrell provide good reasons for and against the covenant in Genesis, but at the end of the day, I think the stronger case is made for a some sort of covenant in and/or with creation.  More on this on another day.

Soli Deo Gloria, dss