How does the Bible hold together into a single, cohesive story?
It’s an important (and intimidating) question reserved for the discipline of biblical theology, an angle of scholarship that focuses on sections of Scripture, sometimes the whole of the Bible, to show how the texts fits together within the unfolding drama of redemption and consummation in Jesus Christ.
Edmund Clowney, the noteworthy theologian and preacher who passed away in 2005, said the lessons most easily transferable from seminary life to pulpit ministry was what he learned in biblical theology. There seems to be a direct line between advances in careful biblical theology and robust preaching and discipleship.
One new book release this summer has the potential to play an important role in how local churches put the whole Bible together. It's titled The King In His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments (Baker), written by Thomas Schreiner, the James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. Dr. Schreiner joins us on this episode of Authors on the Line to talk about his book, about whole-Bible biblical theology, and why biblical theology matters for local churches and discipleship.
“Lord willing, I want to see this book used in churches and in the lives of ordinary Christians,” he says. “My first title was You Will See the King In His Beauty, a quote from Isaiah 33:17. This book isn’t just about God fulfilling his plan, but what it means in our lives. And what does it mean in our lives that finally we see and experience God as we understand his plan, as we understand our place in it, as we understand what it means as Christians to live under his lordship and his love? We see God. We experience him. We enjoy him. We rejoice in him. And I think we rejoice in him more, and we love him more, and we adore him more when we understand him better.”