A Biblical Theology Of God’s Glory -- By: Elliott E. Johnson

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 169:676 (Oct 2012)
Article: A Biblical Theology Of God’s Glory
Author: Elliott E. Johnson


A Biblical Theology Of God’s Glory

Elliott E. Johnson

Elliott E. Johnson is Senior Professor of Bible Exposition, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas.

Many evangelicals have long accepted dispensationalism as a mainspring in the study of the Scriptures. For example Ladd wrote of the influence of dispensational teachers: “It is doubtful if there has been any other circle of men who have done more by their influence in preaching, teaching, and writing to promote a love for Bible Study, a hunger for the deeper Christian life, a passion for evangelism and zeal for missions in the history of American Christianity.”1 This model of interpretation can be seen also as contributing to a biblical theology.2

Ryrie, a strong proponent of dispensational theology, suggests that three elements are essential in dispensationalism: (a) a distinction between Israel and the church, (b) historical-grammatical interpretation of the Scriptures, and (c) God’s purpose in the world in bringing glory to Himself.3

This present study focuses on Ryrie’s third sine qua non and seeks to show that God’s overarching purpose in history is to reveal His own glory. While the theme of God’s glory is shared by other

biblical theologies,4 dispensationalism has a unique perspective. It focuses on God’s glory revealed through the progress of revelation from creation to the new heavens and the new earth. Also the full range of historic divine purposes, when fulfilled, displays God’s glory. Regarding this theme Walvoord wrote, “The larger purpose of God is the manifestation of His own glory. To this end, each dispensation, each successive revelation of God’s plan for the ages, His dealings with the non-elect as with the elect . . . combine to manifest divine glory.”5

This study seeks to consider how each person of the Godhead contributes to the fulfillment of God’s historic purposes in human history. God the Father is revealed in His Word as Governor. God the Son is revealed as Servant. And God the Spirit is the Enabler in fulfilling God’s plans. As God accomplishes His purposes in history, His glory is revealed and shared “with those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

In this author’s view dis...

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