The Ways of Our God: An Approach to Biblical Theology

The Ways of Our God: An Approach to Biblical Theology

The Ways of Our God: An Approach to Biblical Theology

The Ways of Our God: An Approach to Biblical Theology


At a time when Old Testament and New Testament studies areconsidered to be two very different tasks, this major new work by Charles Scobie offers an approach to biblical theology meant totake in the entire sweep of divine revelation.

Comprehensive in scope, this book covers every aspect ofbiblical theology. Chapters are devoted first to the nature and taskof biblical theology and then to major themes within the biblicalmessage -- God's order, God's servant, God's people, and God'sway. Each section of the book also features an extensive system ofhelpful cross-references. Not only is Scobie's attempt to bridge thebiblical testaments admirable, but he also takes great care to presentscholarship that is at the same time informed by, and relevantto, the daily life and work of the church. The result is a book thatis relevant to readers everywhere.

Accessible to teachers, clergy, students, and general readersalike, this book will reinvigorate the study of the Bible as the unifiedword of God.


This book was conceived many years ago but has been a long time coming to birth. It reflects the fact that for most of my life I have lived, as it were, in two worlds. One is that of the academic study of the Bible: as a student at university in Glasgow and at a theological college (Trinity College, Glasgow), as a graduate student in a master’s program (Union Theological Seminary, New York) and in a doctoral program (University of Glasgow), followed by a teaching career in a theological college (The Presbyterian College, Montreal), a university faculty of religious studies (McGill University), and a university department of religious studies (Mount Allison University). For most of that time my studies, teaching, and publications were based on the historical-critical approach that dominated the academic study of the Bible in the second half of the twentieth century. At the same time, however, I lived in another world, the world of the church and the Christian community: as a theological student, as an ordained minister, and then as a preacher, teacher, or Bible study leader often called upon to expound the message of Scripture for the contemporary Christian community, as well as a member and elder in a local Christian congregation.

The tension between these two worlds was often acute. The academic approach was based on a two-century-old tradition that had strong roots in rationalism and often led to reductionism and skepticism. Above all, it was a world in which the Old and New Testaments were two totally different areas of study; one was either an Old Testament scholar or a New Testament scholar, and never the twain shall meet. Not only was any idea of a “biblical theology” (i.e., encompassing both Old and New Testaments) assumed to be an impossibility, but so great was the emphasis on diversity within Scripture that in many quarters even the possibility of an “Old Testament theology” or a “New Testament theology” was called in question. Similarly, biblical studies on the one hand and dogmatic or systematic theology on the other very largely went their own ways. Yet, when called upon to lead a Christian congregation in worship, one was expected to read from Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel, and then to explain how within these varied words penned long centuries ago by human authors one could hear . . .

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