FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – The latest issue of The Southwestern Journal of Theology draws together presentations from the 2012 Southwest Regional meeting of the Evangelical Theology Society, exploring the task of biblical theology in past, present and future.
This edition of the journal, titled “Biblical Theology: Past, Present, and Future,” is the first of two issues devoted to this theme. Gerald Bray, research professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School, begins this issue by reviewing the roots and growth of the discipline of biblical theology since the Reformation.
“In the end, biblical theology will look more like confessional theology than the attempts to replace it do,” Bray writes, considering the prospects for the discipline. “Perhaps this is the inevitable consequence of living in a church with a tradition stretching back to biblical times that has drawn on the Scriptures for its life and its teaching from the very beginning.”
In another article, Robert B. Chisholm examines the biblical theology of 1-2 Samuel. According to Chisholm, professor of Old Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary, the “two primary human voices” in 1-2 Samuel—namely Hannah and David—“speak in unison” about the character of God.
“They affirm that Yahweh is incomparable, sovereign over life and death, just in his dealings, and a mighty warrior who controls the elements of the storm,” Chisholm writes. “Furthermore, the warriors Jonathan and David recognize that Yahweh alone determines the outcome of the battle. Soldiers and weapons have no impact on the outcome when Yahweh is involved (1 Sam 14:6; 17:47).”
Douglas Kennard, professor of New Testament at Houston Graduate School of Theology, then looks for an approach to biblical theology that is appropriate for the books of Psalms, Proverbs and other wisdom literature in Scripture. Many visions of biblical theology have failed to do justice to this section of the Bible, Kennard writes, explaining that he desires to put “a biblical theology of Old Testament wisdom within the overarching Old Testament biblical theology strategy.”
“It is at this point, if not before, that most of the Old Testament biblical theologies hit the reef of wisdom literature,” he adds. “There are many Titanics and lesser yawls strewn on the ocean floor around this reef. However, there is one clear passage through this reef.”
According to Kennard, the creation theology that surfaces throughout the Bible’s wisdom literature provides a safe passage for connecting a comprehensive biblical theology with this biblical genre.
This issue of the journal also includes part two in a series of review essays on Whomever He Wills: A Surprising Display of Sovereign Mercy (Founders Press, 2012), followed by numerous other book reviews.
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