Lawrence, Michael. Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church: A Guide for Ministry. Crossway: Wheaton, 2010.
Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church by Michael Lawrence is another excellent addition from IX Marks Ministries for the people of God as they consider the role of biblical theology and its applications in the local church. Lawrence divides the book into three sections. Section one considers the tools that are needed as one approaches the topic of biblical theology. These tools begin with the text of the Bible with an explanation of the grammatical-historical method of biblical interpretation. He then moves to such important themes such as covenants, epochs, prophecy, typology, and continuity and discontinuity between the OT and the NT. He concludes the section with some good definitions and explanations for both biblical and systematic theology, asking two questions: 1) Do we really need both; and 2) How and why do we think theologically? In part two Lawrence begins to apply the tools just mentioned by telling the story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the lens of various theological themes including creation, the fall, love, sacrifice, and promise. Part three concludes the book with specific applications for the body of Christ with an emphasis on preaching and teaching.
In my opinion, this is one of the most helpful books for the local church, especially for those who will be preaching and teaching the Bible. At this point, if I could choose one book for an introduction to hermeneutics or the applications of biblical theology for the local church, it would be this one. I have read a few books on the topic of biblical theology, and with each one I am able to see a little more of the great forest of God’s unfolding plan of redemption. This book is no exception. One of the greatest differences between this book and other “introductions” is the emphasis on the application of biblical theology for he local church. For this I am so grateful!