How Biblical Theology is done at Kosmosdale.
On Feb. 28th and Mar. 1st, I went to 9 Marks at SBTS. It was a great experience and learned a lot about how to better incorporate biblical theology in areas where I teach. However, I am not the only one that teaches biblical theology. Our pastors teach us biblical theology every week, and you might not even know it. So, this conference helped me to appreciate Pastor Mitch’s preaching even more, and his faithfulness to the text. So I want to help you understand what is biblical theology and how Pastors Mitch and Tim teach us it within their roles.
What is Biblical Theology?
Biblical theology is theology as it found in the Bible as a whole and in books individually. Biblical theology is not systematic theology, e.g. Grudem’s Systematic Theology. Systematic theology connects different passage that talk about different themes while also looking at historical development. Some examples of these truths are: God’s attributes, the person of Christ, and a doctrine of sin and man. From these understandings, it is applied to today’s context for further growth.
Biblical theology, however, looks only at how the Bible develops theology within itself. Different theological concepts, like temple imagery, what the Messiah will do, and God’s plan to save the world, are repeated throughout the Old and New Testaments. An example from Pastor Mitch’s sermons is the new exodus, which is found in Christ. We have learned that this theme is developed from the Old Testament and Jesus embodies the exodus story in His own Life as the “Son of God.”
Pastor Mitch’s Preaching
I want to explore is Mitch’s preaching first, and I will use the Mar. 2nd message as an example (listen here). This sermon was about obeying Christ’s preaching from the Sermon on the Mount. I want to recall two distinct references to biblical theology in his sermon. The first was the rock, and the second was the storms. In both references, he went back into the Old Testament and showed us where these illusions were found. Mitch made it clear that Jesus is not just thinking up an illustration. Instead, Mitch explained that the rock represented God as a constant refuge from judgment. The storms, then, represented the judgment of God. Jesus uses this illustration to enforce the seriousness of following His teaching, which they would have already known.
With that, Mitch’s preaching connects the whole canon as one storyline with Christ as its beginning, middle, and end. Every sermon develops the different themes found that the Biblical authors before and after also talk about. When he preaches, we learn where the authors are developing their idea before them and also how other authors after them develop the idea further. This helps us also study the Bible by finding these same themes in other passages and seeing how the Bible relates to itself.
Pastor Tim’s Sunday School
Tim also demonstrates biblical theology in his Sunday School class. Currently, Tim is teaching in Old Testament narrative. Like Mitch, Tim brings the whole canon together by showing the development to Christ. So while reading through David’s life, he places the stories within the storyline of the Bible and connects its developments to Christ. An example is Samuel growing in favor with God and man (1 Sam. 2-3). Luke will use a similar wording when he describes Jesus in Luke 3. Tim also pointed out that King David did some actions we would expect priest would do. The author Hebrews, as we have seen from Mitch’s series, shows Jesus as the ultimate priest.
These are two examples of biblical theology at Kosmosdale. My hope is that you see what they are doing and how it is important for a fuller understanding of Scripture. The Bible is multiple books with one storyline with many developments. Biblical theology helps us to understand the Bible better and not allowing us to forget or neglect parts because we do not found relevance.
As church members, we can also learn biblical theology. This is a consistent study of the Bible and knowing it by reading both Testaments and also the Holy Spirit illuminating our minds. It is knowing the Old Testament stories and the Holy Spirit opening our eyes to see these connections. It is looking at the footnotes of quotes and going back to the stories that are alluded to and seeing how the biblical authors understood Scripture. A resource that can help understand better biblical theology is a book by James Hamilton called What is Biblical Theology?. There is also a 9Marks book called Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church.