Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church, by Michael Lawrence

I think every Christian should buy Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church.  Although the subtitle is A Guide for Ministry, the book is more than that–it is a guide for reading and understanding the story of the Bible, which is something every Christian should labor to do.

The author, Michael Lawrence, is the associate pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC.  Published by Crossway, Lawrence’s book is a contribution to the concerns of Mark Dever’s 9-Marks ministry, a ministry dedicated to cultivating healthy churches for the glory of God.

Lawrence’s book consists of twelve chapters divided into three sections:

In section one (“The Tools That Are Needed”), there are five chapters that cover the grammatical-historical method, covenants, epochs, canon, prophecy, typology, and the continuity of Scripture.  Lawrence also compares and contrasts the tasks of biblical and systematic theology.  In my opinion, these five chapters are alone worth the price of the book.

But the book gets even better.  Section two (“The Stories to Be Told”) looks at the Bible’s metanarrative through five lenses.  Lawrence helps us to understand the Bible’s story as a story of creation, fall, love, sacrifice, and promise.  His explanations are helpful, his illustrations are insightful, and his arguments are compelling.

In the third and final section (“Putting It Together for the Church”), Lawrence has two chapters on ministering in the church with the tools of biblical theology.  In the forward to the book, Thomas Schreiner argues that these final two chapters are also worth the price of the book.

Endorsed by the likes of Graeme Goldsworthy, David S. Dockery, Michael Horton, and Thomas Schreiner, Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church is something you need to read if you want to understand the Bible better.  And buy a copy for people who are in ministry or who intend to be.

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