Biblical Theology by John Goldingay


John Goldingay, who has already produced a three-volume theology of the Old Testament and another on Isaiah’s theology among many other works, has now broadened his sights to the theology of the entire Bible. Because of his stature in the scholarly world, I predict this will become an influential volume.

As for me, I picked it up with a fair amount of skepticism. As a staunch conservative,   I find Mr. Goldingay sometimes on the other side side of the tracks. (There is a debate out there about whether he is really an evangelical or not). For the record, I found several sentences that were subversive to my eyes in this book. I thought I should pick one such statement for this review to prove my point. On page 74 in an explanation of Jesus as the I AM he says, “… The New Testament’s references to ‘worship’ of Jesus need not imply that he is seen as divine.” Are you kidding? To be fair, in the next paragraph, he returns to a more orthodox description, yet he has some such statements along the way. He is clearly a provocative writer, but where he succeeds as a writer may also be where he fails. As a provocateur he should stop short of inciting cardiac arrest in his readers!

Not that I am the standard, but I found myself disagreeing with many of his conclusions  along the way too. I only mention that because of what I want to say next.

This book threw away the mold of traditional theologies. I had never noticed before just how close a script all such volumes had in the past. From differing theological perspectives, they all present the same way. Here’s the Doctrine of God and off they go …1, 2, 3. Goldingay, for the better or worse, wrote his own script. That approach makes for creative new Approaches to study, even if you are a conservative like me who says often as you go, “O, you’re wrong again there, Mr. Goldingay.”

If you are as conservative as me, this is not going to be your first choice for a theology on your shelf. But if you are like me, you are going to make it one of a handful you always consult just to help you think outside the box. He simply made me think about things that I had never thought of before. I like that! I’ll make my own conclusions anyway, thank you. So I unashamedly give 4 out of 5 stars and recommend a book that I thought I might not.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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