Denny Burk, James M. Hamilton Jr., and Brian Vickers, eds. God’s Glory Revealed in Christ: Essays on Biblical Theology in Honor of Thomas R. Schreiner. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2019. 320 pages. $39.99 (hardcover).
Within Reformed evangelical circles, “Thomas Schreiner” has become a household name. His numerous monographs, essays, and commentaries exhibit excellence in scholarship, humility in tone, and God-centeredness in orientation. In honor of his work, Denny Burk (Professor of Biblical Studies and Director of The Center for Gospel and Culture at Boyce College), James Hamilton (Professor of Biblical Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), and Brian Vickers (Professor of New Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) have assembled a collection of essays on biblical theology by several evangelical scholars in God’s Glory Revealed in Christ.
The essays are organized into four main clusters. Chapters 1–5 outline various approaches to “whole-Bible” biblical theology (i.e. integrating the Old and New Testaments into a coherent whole). Chapters 6–11 unpack various biblical-theological themes, focusing primarily on the New Testament. Chapters 12–14 address specific background issues involved in properly interpreting the biblical text. Finally, chapters 15–19 illustrate various applications of theological study to contemporary Christian living (e.g. missions, pastoral ministry, politics). The book concludes with an afterword by Patrick Schreiner, who gives his own personal testimony to his father’s faithfulness to Christ both in and outside the home.
Rather than being technical works of scholarship, the essays are written at a level accessible to most pastors and college/seminary students, which gives the volume a wide appeal. However, the contributors display tremendous skill in their ability to discuss deep theological and scholarly concepts in a manner understandable to Christians outside of the academy. Some highlights in this regard include John Piper’s essay on sanctification (chap. 6), Barry Joslin’s essay on the Trinity in Hebrews (chap. 9), Ardel Caneday’s essay on typology (chap. 10), and Clinton Arnold’s essay on the role of historical backgrounds in Colossians (chap. 12). The final group of chapters (e.g., Denny Burk’s essay on transgenderism) are effective in demonstrating how one’s study of Scripture shapes one’s approach to various issues in Christian ministry today.
While this collection exhibits several strengths, there are a couple of weaknesses as well. First, the opening section on whole-Bible biblical theology features no essay arguing for Schreiner’s own progressive covenantal perspective, which is only briefly mentioned in the essays by D. A. Carson and Shawn Wright (28, 41–43). This absence is made more noticeable by the fact that the same section features two essays that explicitly argue against one or more of Schreiner’s views. Second, most of the essays are relatively short (around 15 pages or less) and at times feel as though they end before the author has had the opportunity to really unpack his subject. Extending the general length of the essays would have increased both their depth and usefulness.
These shortcomings notwithstanding, this collection is brimming with exegetical, theological, and pastoral insights that can edify Christians both in the church and in the academy. It thus serves as an excellent tribute to a scholar who has done much to bridge these two worlds.
CBS book notices provide brief descriptive summaries and assessments of new publications in biblical studies and biblical theology. CBS book notices are not full academic book reviews. The present book notice was written by Drake Isabell, an M.Div. student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary who serves as Content Manager for Book Notices for the Center for Biblical Studies.