Around 14 years or so ago, a friend of mine introduced me to the writings of Geerhardus Vos and the discipline loosely known as “biblical theology.” If you haven’t read Vos’ Inaugural address as Professor of Biblical Theology in Princeton Theological Seminary, from 1894: “The Idea of Biblical Theology as a Science and as a Theological Discipline,” I highly recommend doing so.
Biblical Theology, as outlined by Vos, Graeme Goldsworthy and others, is simply the tracing of God’s progressive self-revelation over the course of redemptive history, centering on the idea that Jesus is the true lens through which we understand all of Scripture. This approach ties us to the organic unity of Scripture and reinforces its inter-relatedness as an unfolding story. Each bit of revelation is dependent on what has come before and lays the groundwork for what comes next.
While biblical theology can sometimes trace the progression of somewhat technical theological ideas, the basic idea has gained widespread interest as the excitement about the idea of “story” continues to grow. Everyone loves a good story and the Bible contains the world’s greatest story.
A biblical theological approach to Scripture helps avoid a disjointed understanding of the Bible. At some point in growing up, I realized that I knew a lot of biblical stories without fully realizing how they all linked together or formed a cohesive whole.
This past weekend, I had the privilege of co-leading a great group of people through something called The Story-Formed Way. If you’re not familiar with this great resource, it’s a 10-week paraphrased, guided dialogue journey through the story of the Bible developed by Church of the Cross‘ family Soma Tacoma.
I’ve been able to lead this event numerous times and I see something new every time. It’s great watching people put the pieces together and see the big picture of a God who constantly pursues His people for His glory. It’s something that just about everyone can understand and just about everyone will also be challenged by. If you want a better idea of the big picture or if you know people who are curious about the Bible, I can’t recommend this resource highly enough.