A Brief Book Summary from Books at a Glance
By Mark Baker
About the Authors
Nick Roark (MDiv, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the pastor of Franconia Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Robert Cline is the managing director for training content and curriculum at the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Biblical theology is much more than just theology that is biblical. It is a specific discipline—a specific way to reading the Bible that sees Christ in all of Scripture and seeks to connect the reader to God’s grand storyline of redemption. Biblical theology, properly applied in the life of the church, will allow God’s people to treasure Christ as the hero of Scripture and to guard the church from error.
Table of Contents
1 The Need for Biblical Theology
2 What Is Biblical Theology?
3 What Is the Bible’s Big Story? Part 1
4 What Is the Bible’s Big Story? Part 2
5 Biblical Theology Shapes a Church’s Teaching
6 Biblical Theology Shapes a Church’s Mission
Appendix: Additional Biblical-Theological Examples
Chapter 1: The Need for Biblical Theology
It is possible to read a story and still miss its main point. It’s sad if it happens with a book of literature; it is tragic if it happens with the Bible. Jesus himself gives us clear instruction about how the Bible should be read. He says the Scriptures “bear witness about me” (John 5:40). Indeed the whole Old Testament was written about him! Here are four benefits of biblical theology: (1) Biblical theology helps clarify the Bible’s main purpose; (2) Biblical theology helps guard and guide the church; (3) Biblical theology helps us in our evangelistic outreach; (4) Biblical theology helps us read, understand, and teach the Bible the way Jesus said we should.
There are also grave dangers when biblical theology is absent from the church: “missing the point of the Bible’s story produces false gospels and false churches” (19). If we look at the Bible as a collection of individual verses, our churches will quickly go astray. Consider these four examples: first, there is the prosperity-gospel church, which adheres to a name-it-claim-it kind of spirituality. Second, there is the civil-gospel church, a kind of church that wants to import God’s promises to Abraham directly to their own national context. Third, there is the soup-kitchen church, the approach that focuses too heavily on social justice to the detriment of other themes such as the forgiveness of sins. Fourth, there is the immorality-affirming church. This approach turns a blind-eye to the ethical commands of the Bible by bowing the knee to the god of this world: tolerance.
Chapter 2: What Is Biblical Theology?
Jesus’ encounter with the disciples on the road to Emmaus provides a key description for how the Bible should be interpreted. Jesus says that the law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms all testify about him. This description helps us define biblical theology: “Biblical theology is an approach to reading the whole story of the Bible while keeping our focus on the main point of Scripture, Jesus Christ. In other words, biblical theology is the scriptural road map that leads us to Jesus” (23).[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
Buy the books
BIBLICAL THEOLOGY: HOW THE CHURCH FAITHFULLY TEACHES THE GOSPEL, by Nick Roark and Robert Cline