I suspect, though I could be wrong, that sacred space and sacred time theology (even under the days of the new covenant) is the historic Christian position, irrespective of theological tradition. It was neither invented by the Reformed, nor the Pentecostal, nor will it be done away with by 20th and 21st century Evangelicals. My hunch is that it has probably been around since the beginning of time. God’s mandate to Adam as His vice-regent was to extend the culture of the garden to the ends of the earth. And if the garden was the first temple (a special dwelling place of God among men on the earth), with the first priest (Adam), and it had a Sabbath (which was a pledge of eschatological rest), then both sacred space and sacred time were present concepts and, at least, potentially co-extensive. However, the fall took place. Adam failed to extend the garden-temple across the earth. But no need to fear! The mandate of Gen. 1:28 is now in the hands of the Mediator between God and man – Christ Jesus, the skull-crushing Seed of the woman. He is setting up mini-temples (sacred space/local churches) throughout the entire earth (Matt. 28:19-20), with priest-kings offering up spiritual sacrifices, particularly when they gather on the day on which the new creation dawned, the Lord Jesus’ day, the first day of the week, Sunday, the new covenant’s Sabbath. Some day the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord in fulfillment of God’s creation mandate to Adam. Then all earthy space and time will be sacred. Then the Lamb will be all the glory! Until then, we get glimpses of that which will be ours in full when He comes. Even so, come Lord Jesus. Amen.
Dr. Richard Barcellos is associate professor of New Testament Studies. He received a B.S. from California State University, Fresno, an M.Div. from The Master’s Seminary, and a Th.M. and Ph.D. from Whitefield Theological Seminary. Dr. Barcellos is pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Palmdale, CA. He is author of Trinity & Creation, The Covenant of Works, and Getting the Garden Right. He has contributed articles to various journals and is a member of ETS.
Courses taught for CBTS: New Testament Introduction, Biblical Hermeneutics, Biblical Theology I, Biblical Theology II.