I am taking a break from Kostenberger’s Biblical Theology, and am starting on Thomas Schreiner’s, called The King in His Beauty. Interesting, it has no introduction, highly unusual for a work this significant and a volume this size (736p). It just starts right into Genesis. However, even though I am only one (very important) book into the volume, I have noted that Schreiner strikes an amazing balance between insight and concision. So the lack of introduction works as it launches into a biblical-theological work that although it includes most of what you want to know (and plenty of new thoughts), it contains little of what you don’t need. Let your eyes glaze over paragraphs and you will miss key ideas.
The section on Genesis (p3-27A) might be one of the very best concise overviews of the book of beginnings I have ever read. There is an emphasis on Lordship on account of creation (p4):
On page 6, Schreiner rightly notes that the dominion of man is connected contextually to the imago dei, although, citing Peter Gentry, he states that dominion is the result of the image of man, rather than (the functional) constituting the image. I would frame this slightly differently, in that I believe that the image is triadic, with the functional aspect constituting the last and outer aspect of the image. This “outer” perspective is what explains what Gentry and Schreiner see in the text.
Image of God Triad:
- Reflects the Mind of God (Substantive [“mind” is somewhat simplistic])
- Reflects the Community of God (Relational)
- Reflects the Work of God (Functional)
Schreiner, like Kostenberger, notes that “God’s covenant is integrally related to his rule over his people, for God’s covenant with his people always involves a relationship.” As a slight aside, at a Pastor’s meeting yesterday, a friend quoted a section from Schreiner’s Covenant and God’s Purpose for the World (p13), in which he mention three things that define a covenant, which I immediately thought was triadic, even though these were in a different order than in Schreiner. This is my triadic version, based on Schreiner.
- Voluntarily Established
- Constitutes a New Relationship
- Binds Parties with Promises and Obligations
An interesting new thought for me on page 9:
Great to note that Schreiner thinks that the “sons of God” in Gen 4 are probably demons (p11-12).
Good section on the extensive parallels of the description of the post-flood world with Eden (p14).
I have a small disagreement with Schreiner’s negative reading of the Jacob story when he says, “Jacob’s deception and manipulation verify his moral impoverishment”. (p22)
Overall, a very promising start to what looks to be a very biblically focused (rather than thematically-driven) biblical theology.