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Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Necessity and Viability of Biblical Theology - Graeme Goldsworthy

I have been reading through archived lectures at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) and came across Graeme Goldsworthy's lectures on how important it is to preach, teach, study, and converse about biblical theology. As I have been studying the history of theological interpretation, it appears biblical theology has resurfaced in recent times after being neglected for many years. This approach to understanding Scripture has seriously develop a greater hermeneutical process and emphasis on the meaning of the text for me personally. I appreciate studies like this and believe it is very healthy, intelligent, and essential for the body of Christ to be equipped with the topic of biblical theology. Due to biblical theology, I can see the Scriptures with more vividness than ever before. Graeme Goldsworthy's lectures on biblical theology are spot on, and below are four reason I completely agree with for the necessity and viability of biblical theology (why it matters) in the pastorate and church.

Here are four reasons for the necessity and viability of biblical theology:
1. The dynamic of redemptive-history from creation to new creation,
with Jesus Christ at the centre, points to a distinctly Christian view and
philosophy of history. The course of world history, according to the Bible,
serves the rule of the Lord God as he moves all things inexorably to the
conclusion that he has determined from before the foundation of the world.
2. The reality principle in the incarnation demands that every dimension
of reality that the Bible expresses be examined. The reality principle in Jesus
is that he is shown to be God incarnate; the new creation; the last Adam; the
new temple; the new Israel; the new David; and the true seed of Abraham.
We could extend the list, but I think the point is made. The essential thing is
that he is the Immanuel; God amongst us in perfect relationship to humanity
and to all the dimensions of reality that the Old Testament presents as the
typological antecedents to his coming.

3. The conviction of faith from the apostles onwards is that in Scripture
there is not a confusion of conflicting testimonies but a variegated testimony
to the one saving work of God in Jesus Christ. The sense of a redemptive
plan coming to fruition in Christ can be seen from the beginning of the
apostolic church. Both Peter, in Acts 2, and Paul in Acts 13 proclaim a
pattern of events in Israel leading to David and then to fulfilment in Christ.
Stephen’s apology in Acts 7 could also be called a mini-biblical theology. In
all the New Testament epistles there is a sense of a narrative that lies behind
and is implied by the theologizing and pastoral comment.

4. The discipline of biblical theology is required by the ‘big picture’ of the
canon of Scripture as God’s word to mankind. It is the one word given to
us so that men and women may be saved and, standing firm in the assurance
of their free justification in Christ, may press on with confidence towards the
goal of their high calling in Christ, emboldened by the blessed hope of Christ’s
return in glory to judge the living and the dead, and encouraged by the vision
of the new heaven and new earth in which righteousness dwells for eternity.

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