Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Biblical theological preaching

If asked to define "Biblical Theology," most members of evangelical churches would respond that biblical theology is the study of God and His work that is in agreement with what the Holy Bible teaches. This is a fine definition, as far as it goes, but it does have at least one major weakness in that every group that claims to accept the Bible as an authority also claims to be engaged in biblical theology; so that the Roman Catholic who denies justification by faith alone claims to be doing biblical theology, the Jehovah's Witness who denies the Trinity claims to be doing biblical theology, and the Mormon who denies monotheism claims to be doing biblical theology even as the Baptist who affirms all these doctrines claims to be doing biblical theology.

Biblical Theology as an academic discipline has a somewhat more specific definition. Biblical Theology is the study of God and His work from the Bible, with particular attention given to the historical storyline of the Bible as it is focused on who Jesus is and what He has done; Biblical Theology seeks to explore each passage of Scripture in relationship to the historical storyline of how God has worked to redeem sinners to Himself, and, in doing so, to examine how each passage of Scripture relates to the Lord Jesus Christ. In this regard, Biblical Theology is a complimentary discipline along with Exegetical Theology, which seeks to study God through examination of specific passages in Scripture and words within those passages, and with Systematic Theology, which seeks to study God through examination of various doctrines taught in Scripture.

In a recent sermon at Southern Seminary, Dr. Stephen J. Wellum provided an excellent example of how the discipline of Biblical Theology should affect the proclamation of God's Word. [The sermon can be heard HERE.] Other examples of preachers who are specifically seeking to apply Biblical Theology to their preaching are Dr. Russell D. Moore, Dean of the School of Theology at Southern Seminary [some of his sermons can be heard HERE], and Rev. David Prince, Pastor of Ashland Avenue Baptist Church [listen to his sermons HERE].

I would recommend these men as an example of Christ-centered preaching, and would urge anyone to listen to some of the sermons linked above, especially if you are a preacher or Bible teacher.



Blogger Danger Chris said...

Andrew, with all due respect, I don't think most Evangelicals would define Biblical Theology as "the study of God and His work that is in agreement with what the Holy Bible teaches."

In fact I think most would look at the questioner and then make up something vague about how it mean the bible is central in your theology or worse they would just say, "Jesus" or the number 7.

You might get a better answer if you asked the question, "Is Galatians in the New Testament?" I'd still say you'd get about 75% correct.

I guess I'm saying that most evangelicals aren't prepared to answer these types of questions, because of the teachers they've had.

Just a thought.

2:24 AM  
Blogger ajlin said...

True, if I asked a Christian UPS co-worker (one who is not Seminary student) to define Biblical Theology, it probably would be a hard question to answer, because this is probably not a topic that they would think of in the course of the day and also (as you point out) because of the prevalence of poor teaching. But if I pressed the issue and gave the fellow evangelical some time to think, then I do believe an answer similar to the one I offered would come forth, though probably in less concise a form.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Danger Chris said...

I can agree with that. Though, it might take some serious defining and patience.

3:13 AM  

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