For those not familiar with the distinctions between the four major types of theology it can be a daunting task to search out the four and then find the differences. We need a simple, easy to follow volume which presents to us the major loci of theological topics in a language even the untrained can understand. Sigurd Grindheim has provided that text for us in his volume; Introducing Biblical Theology. This book is a volume which finds itself in a market devoid of introductory works in this category of theology. Historical works abound, Systematics are all the rage, and pastoral texts have a hard time staying on the shelves, but this niche, apart from big names like Geerhardus Vos, have largely been ignored among the broader church in today’s landscape.
Grindheim begins by placing the anchor of this volume in Luke 24:27 which explains to us that, “Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Jesus understood the Old Testament to have one central thread which ran through all the pages of the testament he himself used several times. Grindheim makes this point a little more clearer when he tells us, “There is a story that runs through all of the biblical books: the story of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ, This is the story of the Triune God, the God who interacts…In this book, we will learn from Jesus and the apostles how to read the Bible, and we will see how the good news about Jesus Christ emerges as the central theme.”
Personally, this book felt a lot like reading a systematic theology, overlapping in some areas. I’m still not quite sure of the difference between the two disciplines of BT and ST other than the fact that BT seems to run in a straight line from Genesis to Revelation and ST seems to take those straight line topics and connect both ends of the line into a coherent and cogent circle of topics. This book did an excellent job of taking the Bible and making its story line accessible, answering many of the questions I have had since becoming a Reformed young man. Grindheim took me on a journey from beginning to end and never failed to keep my attention even through the lesser understood portions of God’s word.
To find an introductory work with this level of clarity would be a near impossible challenge in today’s market. The thought-provoking questions at the end of the chapter are exactly the thing i needed in order to interact with the text in a more direct way. Instead of long drawn out exposition of the Greek and Hebrew, Grindheim instead chooses to produce fruit that hangs low so that those of us who don’t know how to climb the tree may eat of its produce. A 32 page, double-columned Scripture index clearly shows the life of one who has spent a considerable amount of his life in study and we who read it are the benefactors of such time well spent.
Introducing Biblical Theology Sigurd Grindheim/Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2013 Review Copy Courtesy of Bloomsbury Publishing