Christ-Centered Biblical Theology
Preaching Survey of the Year's Best Books for Preachers
The appeal of biblical theology is that it provides a "big picture" that makes sense of the diversity of biblical literature. Through the lens of biblical theology the Bible ceases to be a mass of unconnected texts, but takes shape as a unified metanarrative connecting the story of Israel with that of Jesus. It presents the whole scene of God's revelation as one mighty plan of salvation.
For fifty years Graeme Goldsworthy has been refining his understanding of biblical theology through his experiences as a student, pastor and teacher. In this valuable complement to his Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics, Goldsworthy defends and refines the rationale for his approach, drawing especially on the work of Australian biblical scholar Donald Robinson.
"For many years I have admired the good things coming out of Moore Theological College. It's high time that the biblical theology being done down under be put front and center in North America. In an age of increasing specialization and fragmentation where even biblical things come apart, Goldsworthy's approach to the unity of Scripture is an important countercultural blast."
"Graeme Goldsworthy's contribution to the study of biblical theology has been enormous. In this informative study, he helpfully compares different evangelical approaches, explaining his own preference for the method advocated by Donald Robinson. Supporting a 'three-stage structure of revelation' (biblical history from creation to Solomon, prophetic eschatology, fulfillment in Christ), Goldsworthy gives an interesting insight into those influences which have inspired and shaped his passion for defending and expounding the theological unity of the Bible. For anyone fascinated by biblical theology, and especially Goldsworthy's contribution to this field of study, the present volume is essential reading."
"Over the years readers have benefited from Goldsworthy's work in biblical theology. Now we have the mature and wise reflections of a veteran scholar on how to do biblical theology. I found this book to be edifying and stimulating. Even those who disagree with some dimensions of Goldsworthy's approach will find him to be a challenging conversation partner."
"Christ-Centered Biblical Theology is a welcomed addition to the growing literature on biblical theology. Readers will find it lucid, insightful and encouraging. Particularly beneficial is the way in which Goldsworthy allows readers to understand his journey in biblical theology and his passion for the discipline. This book, along with Goldsworthy's other writings, have contributed and will continue to contribute to the growing interest in biblical theology."
"I definitely enjoyed reading this book. It is well written and informative. I learned from it, and the book spurred my thinking. What's more I think it makes a number of important contributions, among them the promotion of a Christ-centered biblical theology among evangelicals. Christ-Centered Biblical Theology could be used for an introductory course on biblical theology or for personal study."
"Goldsworthy's book is a stimulating read. It forces the reader to reconsider basic interpretive assumptions. It will encourage people to pull Vos and Clowney off their shelves and reread their rich works."
"Once again, Goldsworthy has produced an important volume that contributes to a Christological understanding of biblical theology. Interestingly, Goldsworthy covers some issues and subjects not addressed in his previous writings. That alone makes this volume worthy, but the volume also serves as a helpful primer to biblical theology."
"[Goldsworthy's] main point is one that needs to be heard throughout Christendom. In the blizzard of sermons and commentaries on short passages, it's easy to lose sight of the big picture. Goldsworthy restores that vision to his readers."
"Christ-Centered Biblical Theology will help readers reflect deeply on the nature and structure of BT [Biblical Theology]."
"Goldsworthy not only provides a solid commendation of the Robinson-Hebert scheme of BT but also gives guidance for how pastors and theologians can approach the biblical text with confidence that it has a unified story to tell."
1. Biblical theology: lame duck or eagles' wings?
Confessions of a biblical theology addict
The big questions about the big picture
The Robinson-Hebert schema
The role of Genesis 1--11
The question of reductionism
Why is biblical theology so neglected?
2. Evangelical definitions and presuppositions
Tentative steps towards a definition of biblical theology
Evangelical theological presuppositions in biblical theology
Evangelical hermeneutical presuppositions in biblical theology
3. Salvation and history
The idea of salvation history
The biblical history as salvation history
Salvation history within Scripture: Old Testament
Salvation history within Scripture: New Testament
4. Evangelical practice
The lack of consensus among evangelicals
The shaping of a biblical theologian: my debt to Donald Robinson
Some leading evangelical biblical theologians
5. Multiplex biblical theology
The problem of unity and diversity in method
Proponents of the multiplex approach
6. Letting the Old Testament speak I: biblical history
What kind of epoch?
The main foci in Old Testament history
7. Letting the Old Testament speak II: prophetic eschatology
The pattern of prophetic eschatology
The canonical shape
The main foci in prophetic eschatology
8. Letting the New Testament speak
Is the New Testament normative in the interpretation of the Old Testament?
Does the New Testament exhibit a structure of revelation?
The Abraham-David/Solomon axis and the fulfilment of prophecy
A comparison of approaches
Approaches to typology
Some issues in the debate
10. The Robinson legacy
Robinson's typology and method in biblical theology
Israel and the church
11. How to do biblical theology
Is there a future for biblical theology?
Possibilities for biblical theology