Preaching and Biblical Theology -- By: Thomas R. Schreiner

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 10:2 (Summer 2006)
Article: Preaching and Biblical Theology
Author: Thomas R. Schreiner

Preaching and Biblical Theology

Thomas R. Schreiner

Thomas R. Schreiner is James Buchanan Harrison professor of New Testament and the Associate Dean for Scripture and Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously taught New Testament at Azusa Pacific University and Bethel Theological Seminary. He is the author of Romans (Baker, 1998) in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament and 1 and 2 Peter and Jude (Broadman & Holman, 2003) in the New American Commentary Series. He is also the author of Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology (InterVarsity, 2001) and co-author (with A. B. Caneday) of The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance (InterVarsity, 2001). In addition, he is serving as the preaching pastor of Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.


The Southern Baptist Convention in this generation has won the battle for the inerrancy of scripture, but we must be vigilant for the next generation will have to strive anew for “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).1 Satan is the father of lies and extremely subtle, and he will certainly work to subvert the truth of the gospel in the coming days. Nor should we congratulate ourselves too quickly, for conservative churches may embrace the inerrancy of scripture, while denying in practice the sufficiency of God’s word. We may say that scripture is God’s inerrant word, while failing to proclaim it seriously from our pulpits.

In many evangelical churches today we truly have a famine for the word of God. We have sermon series in our conservative churches that feature in their titles television shows like Gilligan’s Island, Bonanza, and Mary Tyler Moore. Our preaching often concentrates on steps to a successful marriage or how to raise children in our culture. Such sermons on family issues, of course, are fitting and needed. Unfortunately, two problems often surface in such sermons. First, what the scriptures actually say about these subjects is often neglected or skated over. How many sermons on marriage faithfully and urgently set forth what Paul actually says about the roles of men and women (Eph 5:22–33)? Or, is it the case that even we conservatives are somewhat abashed and embarrassed by what the scriptures say?

The second problem is of the same sort, and perhaps even more serious. In many conservative churches pastors almost always preach on the horizontal level. The congregation is bombarded with sermons about marriage, raising children...

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