Biblical Theology

Book Review - Kingdom through Covenant

Image of Kingdom Through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants
by Peter J Gentry, Dr Stephen J Wellum
Crossway Books 2012
Hardcover 848

Peter Gentry & Stephen Wellum are seeking a middle way between covenant theology and dispensational theology. As a covenant theology loving Christian I found their critiques even-handed and thoughtful. Anyone interested in developing a theology that fits within the big picture narrative of Scripture would benefit from Kingdom through Covenant.

They first define biblical theology as:

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Book Review - A New Testament Biblical Theology by G. K. Beale

Christians today are blessed with a wide variety of resources for studying the Bible. In America, it seems that every few months some must-read theology book hits the press and promises to revolutionize our understanding of God’s Word. And many of these books truly are helpful. We really have no excuse for not understanding Scripture more and being more conformed into the likeness of Christ, given the endless resources meant to help us do just this.

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Book Review - A Theology of Luke & Acts

Last year, under the editorial direction of Andreas Kostenberger, Zondervan began the Biblical Theology of the New Testament Series.  The first installment was Kostenberger’s contribution A Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters. The BTNT series seeks to provide a biblical theology of the entire NT in eight volumes with a biblical/thematic approach.

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Book Review - God's Glory in Salvation through Judgment

Image of God's Glory in Salvation Through Judgment: A Biblical Theology
by James M. Hamilton Jr.
Crossway Books 2010
Hardcover 639

Biblical theology is a discipline that is long overdue for biblically-based scholarly attention in a more public, accepted and permeating manner. The Biblical Theology Movement, as spearheaded by Brevard S. Childs in the 1940s-60s, did not accomplish what it set out to do in reaction to the source and form criticism of liberal theology. Until the last ten to fifteen years, biblical theology as a discipline had been lying almost dormant in terms of major influence within the broader theological world.

There have been a number of major biblical theology works that have had a significant and timeless influence upon the Christian world. Authors such as Geerhardus Vos, William VanGemeren, Daniel Fuller, Walter Kaiser, Graeme Goldsworthy and Charles H. H. Scobie have made classic contributions to the cause. But regardless of how long these works have been around, one wonders if they have had the impact they and others had hoped for.

Perhaps the work accomplished by biblical theologians in the past 10-15 years signals the rise of a new biblical theology movement, one that will take Scripture seriously as we have it and not as we might assume or wish it to be—not just biblical theology in regards to the whole canon but applying that same method to its various sub themes.

With God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment, James Hamilton Jr. makes a significant contribution to the growing number of books seeking to tackle the daunting task of canonical biblical theology. Hamilton sees biblical theology as concerning itself “with what the Bible meant for the purpose of understanding what the Bible means” (p. 45). Thus, the purpose of biblical theology

is to sharpen our understanding of the theology contained in the Bible itself through an inductive, salvation-historical examination of the Bible’s themes and the relationships between those themes in their canonical context and literary form (p. 47).

From this purpose we see Hamilton’s binocular-like view of biblical theological method. The first lens looks at the canon itself. “I will interpret the Protestant canon, and the Old Testament will be interpreted in light of the ordering of the books in the Hebrew Bible” (p. 44). This is consistent with how biblical theology has been practiced traditionally. After all, the word “biblical” in this context implies dealing with the whole cannon.

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