Lecture 3: Biblical Theology in the Local Church and the Home -- By: Graeme Goldsworthy

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 12:4 (Winter 2008)
Article: Lecture 3: Biblical Theology in the Local Church and the Home
Author: Graeme Goldsworthy


Lecture 3: Biblical Theology in the Local Church and the Home1

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 Expository Preaching

In his book, The Sermon Under Attack, Klaas Runia quotes P. T. Forsyth as saying, “It is, perhaps, an overbold beginning, but I will venture to say that with its preaching Christianity stands and falls.”2 There is no doubt that we are faced with the hard questions of the nature of preaching and its importance. Do we capitulate to the modern theorists and theologians, or do we press on and preach the traditional Sunday sermon expounding the Bible and calling people to repentance and faith? Do we persevere in this even if it seems that in numbers of regular listeners we may be losing ground? As far back as the early 1970’s, a survey in the United States showed that, on the whole, evangelical seminaries were growing at a time that many of the more liberal ones were struggling to maintain numbers of students. Certainly that is still the situation in Australia. Many evangelicals would suggest that their emphasis on the Bible as the focus of the teaching and preaching of the church is one main reason for such growth. Anecdotal evidence would indicate that there is something in this claim.

Evangelical Protestants stand in a long and venerable tradition, going back to the Reformation, of the centrality of preaching in the activities of the gathered congregation. We could appeal to the practice of the Reformers, the Puritans, and the leaders of the Evangelical revival, not to mention all the great preachers of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. There are stirring accounts of men like Wesley, Whitefield, Spurgeon and, more recently, Campbell Morgan, Lloyd-Jones, and Billy Graham, whose preaching to thousands was profoundly effective in the conversion and edificatio...

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