A few days ago I wrote a short blog about Michael Bird’s forthcoming systematic/biblical theology, Evangelical Theology. I am honestly excited to read it, because from the looks of it, it is truly going to be a “Gospel-Centered” Theology.
Here is what Bird has to say about this:
What we need, as a matter of pastoral and missional importance, is an authentically evangelical theology — that is, a theology that makes the evangel the beginning, center, boundary, and interpretive theme of its theological project.
He says that a truly evangelical theology
Should be a working out of the gospel in the various loci of Christian theology (i.e., the topics in theology like the nature of God, the person and work of Christ, the church, last things, etc.) and then be applied to the sphere of daily Christian life and the offices of Christian leaders. The gospel is the fulcrum of Christian doctrine. The gospel is where God meets us and where we introduce the world to God.
He says that his task is to lay out what a theology driven and defined by the gospel looks like. In the past, others have attempted this task. I think of Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics which sought to do dogmatic theology fully in light of God’s revelation of himself in Jesus Christ. The Church Dogmatics are a Christocentric attempt at dogmatic theology, it centers theology around the work and person of Jesus Christ. I think of T.F. Torrance’s dogmatic theology which is also centered around the person-work of Jesus Christ. For Torrance every doctrine springs forth from the reality which is the hypostatic union. All this to say, Bird finds himself in good company in his attempt to formulate a truly evangelical theology.
Over the next few days I will post a few blog posts showing how “Evangelical” or “Gospel-Centered” theology ought to be done (maybe “ought” is too strong of a word, maybe we could use “could.”) I will illustrate how certain key doctrines are decided or settled or strengthened by the gospel. I will show that some of the doctrines we take for granted are in fact the logical consequences of the gospel.
Over the next few days I will cover the following doctrines:
- Original Sin