Review of Dominion by Covenant

I think his larger picture is off, though the book is filled with lots of helpful worldview suggestions.  As North admits in the preface, the writing style leaves a lot to be desired.  Often, it is quite pedantic. Sutton takes his cue from Meredith Kline’s covenant model, with a few alterations.  Sutton suggests that covenants follow the 5-point paradigm:

Transcendence
Hierarchy
Ethics
Oaths
Succession

He then has a chapter on each point and shows not only biblical evidence, but historical precedents.  I suppose it works well enough.  I’m simply nervous about making it the paradigm around which to read the entire Bible.  Indeed, in his appendices, Sutton suggests that numerous books of the Bible follow this paradigm.  I’m not so sure.  Certainly, Deuteronomy and even Romans follow it, but the rest is stretching it.

Pros:
Sutton does a fantastic job contrasting biblical, covenantal religion with pagan religion.  He notes that Pagan religions follow a chain-of-being ontology.  This means that there is no divide between “God” and creation.  The difference is that God has more “being” higher in the scale.  Covenantalism, by contrast, posits the Creator-creature distinction in which a transcendent God communicates by his Covenant-Word.  Interestingly enough, his critique of chain-of-being anticipates some things Michael Horton would say decades later.

Cons:
The early “Tyler Theology” comes out heavily.   I say “early” because while there is a heavy influence of Jim Jordan, it is at a time when Jim Jordan was still a theonomist.  Among other things, Sutton argues for paedocommunion.  Caveat emptor.

Conclusion:
While badly written, the book is easy enough to read and for the discerning reader it offers a number of helpful insights.

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