***Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are mine.
Biblical Theology by John Goldingay is for those who desire to expand their thinking on theology not in a systematic method (which is probably what most of us are accustomed to). As one who aspires to pastor in the local church, but also serve the academy (if this is sounding like the idea of “pastor-theologian” you would be correct!), this book is both challenging yet accessible.
To note, this is not a systematic theology. That is a given from the title. However, it is something that must be stated, and is so in the introduction. The introduction in Biblical Theology is not words filling a space, but gives a concise, pointed outline of what Goldingay wishes to accomplish in the text. Not all introductions do so in a concise manner. For that I am thankful. Often times, the first books we grab for our shelves are systematics because we desire to learn what Christian thinkers have thought on certain doctrines.
However, I often did find myself in a sort of disagreement. For instance, Goldingay describes Christians as being royalty simply in “ordinary clothes” and only when we “are wearing royal robes” will it be revealed of who we really are. In a sense, I gather his argument; but in another, I disagree only because from Galatians 5 and James 2 should we be revealing not only “who” we are, but also “whose” we are. He also mentions in the next paragraph that identifying with Jesus in His death and making it our own constitutes us “in effect paying the death penalty,” but also that Jesus began a new life at the Resurrection, and thus, so do we “living by faith in the Son of God.” Now, I do not disagree that we begin a new life spiritually, and in some regard physically, when Christ is our focus. However, I have to disagree when he says that we “in effect” paid the cost. We attributed nothing to Christ’s death except the shouts of crucifixion.
Suffice it to say, I thoroughly enjoyed/enjoy still reading this book. It may not be the first one you go to, or even the first one you put on your shelf, but I highly recommend having it.