Biblical Theology: The God of the Christian Scriptures
by John Goldingay
Reviewed by Clint Walker
As a pastor who strives to be, at some level, an armchair pastor-theologian, I love this book. Biblical Theology has both scholarly rigor and accessibility to thinking Christian persons who are not necessarily theologically trained.
With many books that I read, I skip over the introduction. With this book, reading the introduction is a must. It carefully explains the author's intent and goals with the whole book, and in doing so is essential in understanding why Goldingay does what he does. He is not seeking to do a systematic theology, through which we draw out specific Scriptures to fit theological categories. Instead, he is seeking to draw out the main themes about God and humanity from the Scriptures themselves, allowing different strands with different emphasis to stand next to one another instead of conflating them into a systematic belief system. Thoroughly grounded in Scripture as story, Goldingay shows how different strands of thought weave together to describe God's story in relationship to us.
As you read through the chapters in this theology, you will see that the focus is on the personhood and action of God. This is not a theological anthropology. It is a book designed to paint a lengthy, thoughtful, and beautiful word picture of the God of the Scripture, a God that Goldingay clearly knows and loves himself.
I recommend this book for folks that like to think, to read deeply, and to know God more intimately. It may be challenging reading for some, but it will be rewarding reading for all.