on the importance of biblical theology

Michael Lawrence writes in his book Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church: A Guide for Ministry (Crossway, 2010): 

We need a better understanding of what the Bible is, one that does not reduce it to life’s little answer book, but keeps focus on God, where it belongs.  But we also need an understanding that doesn’t reduce it to the story of how we get saved and go to heaven, leaving the rest of life up for grabs.  We need a working definition of the Bible that allows for systematic answers to almost any question that comes up, but that also provides those answers in the context of the biblical storyline itself.  We don’t want to rip verses out of their context, and so misapply them, but neither do we want a story that never touches down into the nitty gritty of our lives.

Biblical theology helps us establish that better understanding of what the Bible is.  When we talk about biblical theology, we mean a theology that not only tries to systematically understand what the Bible teaches, but to do so in the context of the Bible’s own progressively revealed and progressively developing storyline.  Faithful biblical theology attempts to demonstrate what systematic theology assumes: that the Scriptures are not an eclectic, chaotic, and seemingly contrdictory collection of religious writings, but rather a single story, a unified narrative that conveys a coherent and consistent message.  Thus, biblical theology is concerned with no just the moral of the story, but the telling of the story, and how the very nature of its telling, its unfolding, shapes our understanding of its point (25-26). 

I just got this book recently for review and I think I am really going to like it!   It is one I think a lot of pastors are going to want to read and begin to implement into their preaching and teaching schedule.  I think too it isa god complement for such books as this one.  Preaching from the perspective of biblical theology will hel pastors and teachers preach and teach in a way that will in the log run bring about a transformation of ther congregations (and ultimatley the culture) thereby providing real life solutions for the problems of everyday life (e.g., the gospel).

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