4.5 out of 5 Stars
Author: Edward W. Klink III & Darian R. Lockett
Buy Understanding Biblical Theology: A Comparison of Theory and Practice
Reading Level: Moderate
I’m a fan of biblical theology but the term can be confusing because depending on who you talk it can mean something different. When I was first introduced to the idea it sounded great. I then heard others condemning it for reasons that weren’t explained in the introduction I received. In the end I was confused until I further educated myself. Understanding Biblical Theology, however, addresses these issues of diversity. It identifies and describes five streams of biblical theology and describes theory, practice, and major players.
I was encouraged by what I read for these reasons. First, the majority of biblical theology practice sees the exercise in service of the church. I would argue that if it’s not in service of the church then it has little value as a theological exercise. Biblical theology even if you don’t know the term should impact the Christians daily reading of Scripture and should impact the weekly preaching they hear from the pulpit.
Second, the majority of biblical theology practice also anchors itself to Christ as the linchpin of the biblical story. This point cannot be overemphasized enough. If we fail to see Christ and if we fail to find him in the biblical texts of the Old and New Testament then we will ultimate suffer as anemic Christians. You will not survive long in this world as a Christian if you cannot anchor yourself to Christ and there’s no other way to do this outside of the Scriptures.
Third, biblical theology plays an important role in the ongoing dialogue surrounding the question What is the gospel? The two sides aren’t far off. One founded in the History of Redemption approach and the other in the Worldview-Story approach. But I’ve read more than a fair share of material on both sides and the dialogue can often be past the issues and opponents instead of interacting with actual points.
For these reasons, if you’re interested in biblical theology it would be helpful to understand the different theory and practice in play. It will also help to hone your own abilities as an exegete of Scripture and familiarize yourself with the major streams and players. It might introduce you to names you are familiar with and also those you aren’t but you won’t leave without an important foundation for discovering and reading more from each stream.
The average Christian may be asking What does this have to do with me? No matter who you are the matter of biblical theology will impact you because it deals with fundamental issues related to the Scriptures as canon, the connectedness of the Old and New Testament, and finding Christ throughout Scripture. These issue should be changing the way we live.
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