Biblical Theology Briefing (#2)

On November 6, Zondervan will release what looks like a helpful new compare-the-approaches book on biblical theology: Understanding Biblical Theology: A Comparison of Theory and Practice by Edward W. Klink III and Darian R. Lockett. Klink and Lockett both teach at Biola University in Los Angeles.


Understanding Biblical Theology examines the five major schools of thought considered “biblical theology,” giving a brief developmental history and exploring one contemporary scholar who champions each method. Using a spectrum between history and theology, each of five “types” of biblical theology are identified as either “more theological” or “more historical” in concern and practice:


INTRODUCTION: A Spectrum of Biblical Theology
1. Biblical Theology as Historical Description (James Barr)
2. Biblical Theology as History of Redemption (D. A. Carson)
3. Biblical Theology as Worldview-Story (N. T. Wright)
4. Biblical Theology as Canonical Approach (Brevard Childs)
5. Biblical Theology as Theological Construction (Francis Watson)
CONCLUSION: Understanding Biblical Theology  


The popularity of biblical theology shows no signs of abating, but the variety of approaches to the subject can be confusing and daunting. Klink and Lockett provide a landscape for understanding the discipline by setting forth five different approaches to biblical theology. This much-needed work fills a large gap and will be received gratefully by both professors and students.

—Thomas R. Schreiner, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Biblical Theology—scholars and pastors alike drop the phrase effortlessly, but no one’s quite sure what it really means. And in recent years the misunderstanding and frustrations have only multiplied. Now here comes Understanding Biblical Theology, a primer for the uninitiated and map for the theologically well-versed. If there is any hope for biblical theologians to stop talking past one another, it’s time we had a conversation about the conversation. A book like this is just the place to start.

—Nicholas Perrin, Franklin S. Dyrness Chair of Biblical Studies, Wheaton College Graduate School


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