Coming Up Short
This absence is perhaps symptomatic of People of the Promise’s wider confusion as to what kind of book it really is. As mentioned above, much of the book is historical, yet the lack of attention given to other Reformation-based Protestant traditions weakens its force as a historical overview. There are plenty of excellent examples of biblical exegesis and interpretation, but this isn’t really a book of biblical theology. Indeed, even in Meador’s strong and lucid concluding chapter on the goodness and necessity of a “Christian commonwealth,” one searches in vain for a sturdy theological foundation. While the essays that make up People of the Promise are individually well-written and enlightening, they come up short of presenting a comprehensive summary of Protestant ecclesiology.
Nevertheless, People of the Promise is proof that the Davenant Institute is doing good work that all Protestants should value. In an increasingly fragmented American culture, and an increasingly uncertain church culture, Davenant’s call for the church to recover an intellectually serious and authentically Christian identity is one to applaud.
Samuel D. James is associate acquisitions editor for Crossway Books. He blogs at Inklingations.