With an appreciation for the redemptive-historical cast of Scripture, Dr. Scott Wright’s Regeneration and Redemptive History: A Biblical-Theological Consideration of Regeneration aims to highlight the eschatological nature of regeneration and, in so doing, to strengthen the faith of Christ’s church and cultivate the assurance of God’s people. After providing an historical survey, Dr. Wright offers a careful consideration of pertinent biblical texts touching on the doctrine of regeneration. He emphasizes the priority of the historia salutis—the redemptive works of God in history. With pastoral gentleness and candor, Dr. Wright clearly expounds the theological, pastoral, and personal implications of the eschatological nature of regeneration as well as the significance of Jesus’ accomplished redemptive work. This thorough, practical guide will assist students, pastors, and lay people in developing a new appreciation for the truth and fullness of the distinctive soteriological doctrine of regeneration.
Dr. Wright has served the church well by offering his book Regeneration and Redemptive History. The regenerative work of God is not a post-Christ phenomenon at all. Though the word regeneration is not used frequently in Scripture, the author identifies words and expressions throughout the Bible that indicate God’s work of regeneration. Historically, Christian theologians have not employed the term regeneration uniformly. Wright recognizes this and demonstrates how the term has been narrowed to refer to that act of God by which he gives spiritual life to those who are spiritually dead. This use of the term is due largely to the place regeneration has in the ordo salutis (order of salvation). Stressing the historia salutis (history of salvation), Dr. Wright shows that regeneration is not simply a point at the beginning of one’s spiritual life. The creation of a new age, a new people, the new heavens, and a new earth is the telos of Christ’s regenerative work. Christ makes all things new. The author shows that the regenerated participate in the age to come irrespective of the administration of the covenant under which they have lived. Already, the new age intrudes into this present age. I recommend the reading of this book to enlighten and enrich one’s understanding of God’s great regenerative work.
Dennis Disselkoen, ThM, EdD—Retired pastor in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church
The governing purpose of this book is to show that the understanding of regeneration that has been developed and maintained by Reformed theology is “true doctrine, but . . . not the full doctrine.” Often missing in the important truth of regeneration seen as a distinct element in the application of salvation (ordo salutis) is the eschatological perspective of Scripture on this enlivening, faith-creating work of God in the individual sinner. With a thorough treatment of relevant passages in the whole of Scripture, Dr. Wright demonstrates the richness of regeneration, whether in view prospectively (the Old Testament) or retrospectively (the New Testament), as it is grounded in and flows out of the accomplishment of salvation in the history of redemption that culminates in the once-for-all work of Christ (historia salutis). An added benefit of this study is the pastoral and homiletical observations with which it concludes.
Richard B. Gaffin, Jr.—Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Emeritus Westminster Theological Seminary
This is a thorough, interesting biblical theology of regeneration that locates the doctrine both in dogmatic history and, more importantly, in redemptive history. Armed with a thorough knowledge of both the primary and secondary biblical literature, Dr. Wright deftly demonstrates that the doctrine of God giving life to the dead is as old as the Genesis fall itself, and that the doctrine then continues to develop throughout the Scriptures pervasively, appearing in every major moment in inscripturated revelation. Dr. Wright convincingly demonstrates that individual regeneration is an aspect of God’s re-creating and re-vivifying of the cosmic order itself, and his eschatological framing of the doctrine of regeneration pervades the entire book. While not a brief book, nearly every page rewards the reader’s effort generously.
Dr. T. David Gordon—Grove City, Pennsylvania