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Goldsworthy on misunderstanding the term biblical theology

Posted by on Feb 4, 2010 in biblical theology | Comments Off

The name “biblical theology” is often misunderstood because it is not always appreciated that it is a technical term that refers to a particular way of doing theology. Thus some evangelicals will speak of biblical theology as that which contrasts with unbiblical or liberal theology. Therefore it needs to be stressed that we use the term formally to designate theology, not as a statement of what Christians believe now about any given topic (Christian doctrine), but theology understood from the perspective of the biblical writers within their own historical context. While systematic theology or, as it is sometimes called, dogmatic theology is concerned with establishing the Christian doctrine of any given topic of the Bible, biblical theology is concerned with how the revelation of God was understood in its time, and what the total picture is that was built up over the whole historical process. (Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000, p. 26)