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According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible Paperback – November 10, 2002
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About the Author
Graeme Goldsworthy is an Australian Anglican and Old Testament scholar. He was formerly lecturer in Old Testament, biblical theology and hermeneutics at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia and continues to teach there part time. Goldsworthy is the author of According to Plan, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, Gospel & Kingdom,The Gospel in Revelation and The Gospel and Wisdom. He has an MA from Cambridge University and a ThM and PhD from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia.
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In his introduction, Goldsworthy suggests that the reader might skip Part 2 (entitled: Biblical Theology--How?) if he/she doesn't feel prepared to take on questions of a more theoretical nature. Don't listen to him!:) I found this to be the most helpful part of the whole book. After listening to multiple religion professors explain to me that we must set aside all presuppositions (including the gospel) when we approach biblical texts, Goldsworthy's words here felt like a breath of fresh air. He argues instead that the gospel, as we see it in Jesus Christ, is in fact the only sure guide to help us see what God is communicating in the Old and New Testaments. In other words, Jesus is the final, fullest revelation of God, and by him we interpret all other revelation. The gospel provides the lens through which we must view Scripture. This section is worth the price of the book!
In Part 3, which along with Part 2 takes up the bulk of the book, Goldsworthy gets to work examining the storyline of Scripture from start to finish. He explains how each part of redemptive history reveals to us something of "the kingdom of God": God's people, in God's place, living under God's rule. God's kingdom culminates in his work through Jesus to perfect a people for himself and make all things new. Because this books is meant to provide an overview of Biblical theology, Goldsworthy only goes into so much depth here, but his insights are still helpful.
Overall, I would heartily recommend this book for individual study or church use. If you are a layperson, never fear! You don't need a theology degree to benefit from this book. If you are a pastor, I would also recommend Goldsworthy's work. In fact, I think this book would make an excellent teaching resource for a Bible study class. It truly changes the way we approach scripture. This book led me to greater worship and awe of God and his amazing plan of redemption, and I suppose that is the highest praise I can give any theological book.
Goldsworthy walks you through the storyline of the bible (God's plan of Redemption) interpreting it through the lens of the gospel. He argues that since Christ is the fullest and final revelation of God, if we want to fully know the OT we have to understand that it was all leading, pointing to and finding it's fullfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel.
The book is set up in short chapters with a brief summary, charts, discussin questions and suggested resources for further reading at the end of each chapter. After an explanation of the discipline of biblical theology and its importance the book walks through the bible in chronological order so it begins in Genesis and ends in revelation.
One of the instant benefits for teachers will be the typology and illustrations for teaching the OT. You will be able to teach the OT and show where it fits in to God's plan of redemption and then incorporate Christ into your sermons.
I agree, along with many others including D.A. Carson, that biblical theology is such an important discipline. Its not at odds with systematic theology, rather they complement each other. Biblical theology is the foundation for systematic theology.
This book will help you learn your OT, not as jewish scriptures, but Christian scriptures. When someone says to you "God has changed, he's not like he was in the OT" or "people were saved differently in the OT" you will now be able to walk them through the storyline of the bible in 10 minutes showing how it all points to and finds its fulfillment in Christ.
- the writing is clear and concise
- therefore the chapters are not too long
- the charts are really helpful
- the summaries, study questions and further reading at the end of each chapter are great tools for discipleship and training church members
This book is good to read by yourself but it would be best to read it others in a class or discipleship group.