Lecture 1: The Necessity and Viability of Biblical Theology -- By: Graeme Goldsworthy

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 12:4 (Winter 2008)
Article: Lecture 1: The Necessity and Viability of Biblical Theology
Author: Graeme Goldsworthy


Lecture 1: The Necessity and Viability of Biblical Theology1

Graeme Goldsworthy*

*Graeme Goldsworthy is a minister of the Anglican Church of Australia and has served in churches in Sydney and Brisbane. He is a graduate of the Universities of Sydney, London, and Cambridge, and earned his Ph.D. at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. He lectured at Moore Theological College, Sydney, in Old Testament, Biblical Theology, and Hermeneutics. Now retired, Dr. Goldsworthy continues as a visiting lecturer at Moore College to teach a fourth-year B.D. course in Evangelical Hermeneutics. He is the author of many books, including Preaching the Whole Bible As Christian Scripture (Eerdmans, 2000), According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible (InterVarsity, 2002), and Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics: Foundations and Principles of Evangelical Biblical Interpretation (InterVarsity, 2007).

Biblical Theology and the Doctrine of Scripture

I have never really considered myself to be an academic. During my working life, I have spent more years in full-time pastoral ministry than I have in full-time theological teaching. I mention this only to emphasize that my passion for the discipline of biblical theology was not only driven by the academy, but also by the perceived pastoral need for ordinary Christians in churches to be better able to understand the Bible. What, then, is required for people to understand the Bible as God’s one word about the one way of salvation?

When a person is converted from unbelief to faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, a number of changes take place. They are not all instantaneous and complete since some involve a process of growth and maturing. These include what Paul refers to in Rom 12:1-2 as the renewal of the mind. This is an aspect of sanctification in which the transformation process goes on throughout life. Part of becoming more Christ-like is learning to think “Christianly” about all things including Scripture. The way a new convert begins the process of developing a doctrine of Scripture cannot be stereotyped, for a lot depends on the circumstances and the Christian context in which conversion takes place. Notwithstanding the variety of experiences to which any group of Christians would testify, the common feature is that sooner or later, in one way or another, a personal faith in Christ will lead to some kind of personally held doctrine of Scripture. The view of the Bible that has been caught or taught will form the basis for a developing understanding of, first, the authority and, second, the content of Scripture. A third area is, in my opinion, often left un...

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