I have been reading through Ben Merkle and Alan Bandy’s new book Understanding Prophecy. One of the book’s strengths is the emphasis on biblical theology for an appropriate understanding of biblical prophecy. The difficulty that comes with discussing biblical theology is that it is often defined in a variety of ways. Some would suggest that scholars don’t actually know what biblical theology is. This is a rather pessimistic view. In Understanding Prophecy Merkle/Bandy are helpful in that they survey several definitions of biblical theology and note four presuppositions contained in all of them.This takes readers out of mere abstraction and allows them see what must be true of biblical theology. The presuppositions are:
1.) The Bible is God’s Word
2.) God’s Word contains a unified message
3.) The unified message of God’s Word centers on Jesus
4.) Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension are the climax of redemptive history
The authors then show how these four presuppositions affect the reading of biblical prophecy. They also highlight how each presupposition is represented in the various definitions they survey. Although there may be some differences in various approaches, these four points remain true.
The book can be pre-ordered at amazon.