King's Evangelical Divinity School

13 September 2009

My Fascination With Biblical Theology

I launched this blog by outlining two areas of academic research I focus upon and write about: 1) the Church and Israel, and 2) Pentecostal Studies, particularly Pentecostalism in Latin America as well as Pentecostals and politics generally. Howevert, in addition I have several other areas which I teach, notably hermeneutics (biblical interpretation) and especially how biblical theology aids our understanding and interpretation of the Bible. Biblical theology is the discipline which focuses on the entire Bible narrative (or metanarrative, sometimes also referred to as the canonical narrative) and how every genre, form, text, Bible book, and so on, should be interpreted in light of this bigger picture.

Having been brought up in a strongly Evangelical household (several family members were in ministry) with an emphasis on the Bible as the divinely inspired and revealed word of God, any approach which focuses on the Bible as a unified whole with a central purpose and narrative was always bound to fascinate and draw me. That biblical theology is now in the ascendancy within academic theology (a development, ironically, arising out of a postmodernist worldview - more on this in the next post) makes this discipline all the more exciting. I developed King's Evangelical Divinity School's biblical theology module for the final year of the Bachelor of Theology programme, and I've also reviewed several books on the subject for the scholarly journal Evangelical Quarterly. I'm explaining this because, from time to time, I plan to post articles here on biblical theology and to comment generally on passages from a biblical theology angle because I believe it is such an essential, key tool for the biblical interpreter.

In my next post I'll include a couple of my Evangelical Quarterly book reviews in this field, which I hope you find useful. In the meantime, visit the website Beginning With Moses (see links, left) which I hope you find useful. Moreover, if you delve further into biblical theology as a hermeneutical tool, aim to consider its value in preaching, which goes to the very heart of the role and purpose of biblical hermeneutics. After all, biblical interpretation should have an outworking which makes us all better Christians. Indeed this is the very basis of biblically-based proclamation. Hermeneutics is not an end in itself, but rather a means to an end: the proclamation of the entire word of God so that it may be acted upon and shape us as Christians. In this respect, biblical theology plays an integral role in this bringing about hermeneutics's goal, but only really through a symbiosis of biblical theology and preaching.

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