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A New History of Redemption

The Work of Jesus the Messiah through the Millennia

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Although Jesus's work of redemption is often viewed as a singular event, a careful examination of Scripture reveals that the Messiah began his redemptive work just after the fall and will continue it to the end of the world.

In the spirit of Jonathan Edwards's History of the Work of Redemption, distinguished theologian Gerald McDermott traces the progress of redemption throughout the Bible and Church history. This book connects the dots surrounding Israel, redemption by the Jewish Messiah, secular and sacred history, the world religions, and Jewish-Christian worship through liturgy and sacraments. It shows how Jesus as Messiah was redeeming throughout Old Testament history, and it carries that story up through the last two millennia.

McDermott contends that it is only through a historical examination of the Messiah's redemption amid the turmoil of the world and the worship of his people that one can best see God's beauty.

1. What Is Redemption?
Part 1: From Eternity to the Dispersal of the Nations
2. Redemption Planned from Eternity
3. Redemption after Eden
4. The Spirit and Messiah from Enosh and Enoch to Noah and the Nations
Part 2: From Abraham to Moses
5. Abraham and the Patriarchs
Part 3: From Moses to the Incarnation
6. Moses to David
7. David to the Captivity
8. From the Captivity to the Messiah
9. The Authority of the Tanach
Part 4: The Incarnation
10. Coming into the World 
11. The Messiah's Work
Part 5: From Christ's Resurrection to the End of the World
12. Resurrection
13. The Kingdom of God
14. Ascension and Church
15. Mission to Gentiles
16. Persecution
17. The Monastic Movement
18. Dogma and Theology in the Third and Fourth Centuries
19. Political Disintegration and Missionary Expansion
20. The Iconoclast Controversy
21. The Rise of Islam
22. The Medieval West
23. Messiah outside the West
24. Reformation and Counter-Reformation
25. The Western Church since the Enlightenment
26. The Oxford Movement
27. The Explosion of Pentecostalism
28. World Wars and Holocaust: The Problem of Evil
29. The Church's New Center of Gravity in Asia and Africa
30. Israel Returned, Renewed, and Restored
Part 6: The Eschaton
31. The Messiah's Return and Final Judgment
32. The New Heavens and the New Earth
33. God Glorified in the Church Glorified


"This is a book with a bold agenda--to complete and extend an unfinished masterpiece by America's greatest theologian. In these pages Jonathan Edwards comes alive in a new way, and we see how the drama of redemption informs all that he wrote--his history, theology, and exegesis. At once scholarly and edifying, this is a tour de force!"

Timothy George, distinguished professor, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

"Gerald McDermott is well known as a Jonathan Edwards scholar. Now he has stepped into the role of updating the great theologian's work by offering his own account of the history of redemption. But this is no mere rehash of Edwards. Instead, McDermott works to bring out the astounding beauty of redemption (a much-neglected category in Protestantism) for a new generation. A very encouraging volume."

Carl R. Trueman, professor of biblical and religious studies, Grove City College

"Audacious, sweeping, magisterial, and highly distinctive--at a moment in history when understanding the global is essential, McDermott gives us both a deep history and a wide-ranging global view of God's restoration of the world that expands our minds and enriches our faith. Fascinating reading."

Os Guinness, author of Magna Carta for Humanity

"Gerald McDermott celebrates and builds on Jonathan Edwards's great vision of the history of salvation. McDermott's voice carefully unites the Reformed tradition with key Roman Catholic theologians to write an ecumenically compelling theology of God's redemption, from before creation to the end of time. He pays special attention to 'Israel' (both Jews who follow Jesus and those who do not) and to Israel's enduring role in salvation history. A genuine contribution to theology, ecclesiology, and Christian-Jewish relations. A compelling and challenging book."

Gavin D'Costa, professor, Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome

"In A New History of Redemption, Gerald McDermott proves once again that he is one of the most well-grounded yet exciting and thought-provoking Christian theologians of our day. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in Christianity, the New Testament, or contemporary theology. From now on, serious Christian theology should take this formidable book into account."

Rabbi Eugene Korn, Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation, Jerusalem

"Following the promptings of Jonathan Edwards, Gerald McDermott has written an admirably ambitious and theologically astute account of God's redemptive plan, from the inner counsels of God before creation to the consummation of all things in the age to come. A New History of Redemption brings readers into the fullness of the historical career of the gospel."

R. R. Reno, editor, First Things

"Taking his cue from Jonathan Edwards's uncompleted History of the Work of Redemption, Gerald McDermott has written an ambitious and far-reaching treatment of God's work of redemption, bookended by creation and the eschaton and covering the entire course of history between. Treating doctrinal matters as they are foregrounded by God's direction of history and considering other religions as they arise, McDermott highlights how the Church's growth in its understanding and expression of God's truth are integral elements of the story. A New History of Redemption is a rare work that communicates the comprehensive scope and providential impulse of redemption not merely in the biblical narratives but through the present day."

Alastair Roberts, adjunct senior fellow, Theopolis Institute

"Christianity is at bottom a religion of redemption, in which the working of God's will is revealed, and the fallen world restored, through his deeds and presence in the passages of history. In this marvelous and remarkably accessible work, the distinguished theologian Gerald McDermott traces that working, seeking to recover and build on the work that Jonathan Edwards so nobly advanced in his own unfinished History of the Work of Redemption, the story of how man came to say yes to God's eternal invitation. The writing even has some of the flavor of Edwards's: rigorous and crisp in its argumentation, but lavish and loving in its evocations. This is a book for every kind of reader."

Wilfred McClay, professor of history, Hillsdale College

"Faith in the God of Israel means that our lives are part of a grand narrative, a story that begins in Eden and ends with the eschaton. How we understand that story shapes every aspect of our walk with God. The task of the theologian is to explain this narrative in a way that points to the true will of God. The supersessionist misunderstanding of God's narrative set Christians on a path of falsehood for centuries. In our times, brave theologians, among whom Gerald McDermott is a trailblazing leader, are working to correct critical theological errors passed down to today's Christians, errors that continue to be contradicted by the events of the current era of history. A New History of Redemption is nothing less than a retelling of God's grand narrative with an eye to correcting these errors. Any honest reconciliation between the Jewish and Christian faith communities demands that we reassess the inherited theological positions that each of our faiths holds regarding the other. This book represents a major step in that direction."

Rabbi Pesach Wolicki, executive director, Ohr Torah Stone's Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation, Jerusalem

The Author

  1. Gerald R. McDermott

    Gerald R. McDermott

    Gerald R. McDermott (PhD, University of Iowa) teaches at Jerusalem Seminary and Reformed Episcopal Seminary (ACNA). He was Anglican Chair of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School for five years and taught at Roanoke College for twenty-six years. He is an Anglican...

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