Monday, February 20, 2012

My Review of GOSPEL-CENTERED HERMENEUTICS by Graeme Goldsworthy

Photo Credit: Intervarsity Press

Graeme Goldsworthy has become a leading voice in the area of Biblical Theology, focusing on the overarching cohesiveness of the biblical narrative and a christocentric study of the Bible. For Christians, it can often be difficult to understand how the Old Testament is meant to fit into their theological framework. It wasn't written to us, yet it's considered the word of God, so what is it saying to us? Hermeneutics, or the study and interpretation of the Bible, can itself be a cumbersome task at times. What is meant to be the end result of our time studying the word of God.

Graeme Goldsworthy has written an extensive book on the issues involved called GOSPEL-CENTERED HERMENEUTICS, and it is thorough, insightful, and practical. Goldsworthy explores the presuppositions we come to the Scriptures with and how those presuppositions affect our hermeneutical practice. Goldsworthy outlines how the Bible in its entirety is about Christ and his work on the cross. People often start with a man-centered approach to the Scriptures, but proper hermeneutics must start with the presuppositions of the Bible as God's word to reveal the gospel of Jesus. Instead of approaching the Bible asking, “What am I supposed to do?”, we approach it with the question of “What has Jesus done for us?”

Goldsworthy spends several chapters exploring the history of hermeneutical methods and exposes the inherent flaws in some approaches such as the allegorical approach used by many throughout the centuries. He looks into the role of typology in looking at the Old Testament as Christians and contrasts it with allegorical interpretation.

One of the greatest chapters is on Biblical and Systematic Theology. Goldsworthy asserts that Systematic Theology is born out of Biblical Theology. Finally, after touching on contextualization, Goldsworthy devotes a chapter on putting gospel-centered hermeneutics into practice.

The book is lengthy and a little dry at times, but it is vital information for those who take studying the whole Bible seriously. It would be a great resource for pastors to convey this information to their church members. Best of all, it puts Christ at center.

I received this book for free for review from Intervarsity Press

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