Meek, Loving to Know: Emphasis on Covenant

This is the fourth post I've written about Esther Nightcap Meek's book Loving to Know: Covenant Epistemology. The other posts I've written can be found here, here, and here.

The third part of Meek’s book is entitled “Covenant.” The two chapters within it are entitled “Knowing as Stewardship” in conversation with John Frame and “Knowing as Unfolding Covenant Relationship” in conversation with Mike Williams. These chapters were a bit more difficult for me to work through, as they were more philosophical than theological (although there is certainly a lot of that in Meek’s thought), crossing terrain with which I’m not very familiar. If forced to boil it down, I would say her central argument runs thusly: God by virtue of his role as creator and his love for his creation, constitutes reality such that he descends into it in committed relationship.[1] Knowing anything becomes a microcosm of knowing the creator, which only takes place in a personal relationship in which the creator God is committed to his creation in the best sense of the term. Knowing God only occurs because he is in a personal committed relationship with his creation, thus knowing anything pictures that same relationship in contour and goal.

This picture resonates with me because like Meek I hold to a strong doctrine of Creator and creation: God created, and thus creation reflects his character and also his manner. In this sense knowing anything is properly a subset of knowing the One who made everything. I’ve got a bit of work to do to sort out the details, but on the whole I think Meek is on the right track.

  1. Because of the technical use of the concept of “covenant” in the biblical text and within my theological tradition as a whole, a use which Meek herself acknowledges, I’m a little leery of applying it as broadly as Meek does, a caution which she herself faces. What I hear her say is that covenant equals a committed personal relationship; with those contours I think covenant is an acceptable term to use.  ↩