In Exodus 34 Moses asks to see God’s glory, and God reveals himself as a God who is merciful and just. James Hamilton Jr. contends that from this passage comes a biblical theology that unites the meta-narrative of Scripture under one central theme: God’s glory in salvation through judgment. Hamilton begins in the Old Testament by showing that Israel was saved through God’s judgment on the Egyptians and the Caananites. God was glorified through both his judgment and mercy, accorded in salvation to Israel. The New Testament unfolds the ultimate display of God’s glory in justice and mercy, as it was God’s righteous judgment shown on the cross that brought us salvation. God’s glory in salvation through judgment will be shown at the end of time, when Christ returns to judge his enemies and save all who have called on his name. Hamilton moves through the Bible book by book, showing that there is one theological center to the whole Bible. The volume’s systematic method and scope make it a unique resource for pastors, professors, and students.
“At its center, I contend, will be the glory of God in salvation through judgment.” (Page 41)
“In broadest terms, the Bible can be summarized in four words: creation, fall, redemption, restoration. This sequence functions as an umbrella story encompassing the whole canonical narrative, but it is also repeated countless times on both individual and corporate levels. The whole cosmos is created, is judged when man rebels, is redeemed through Christ’s death on the cross, and will be restored when Christ returns, but this also happens to the nation of Israel and to particular individuals.” (Page 49)
“The purpose of biblical theology, then, is to sharpen our understanding of the theology contained in the Bible itself through an inductive, salvation-historical examination of the Bible’s themes and the relationships between those themes in their canonical context and literary form. In this book I am arguing that one theme is central to all others.” (Page 47)
“The biblical authors used biblical theology to interpret the Scriptures available to them and the events they experienced. For the believing community, the goal of biblical theology is simply to learn this practice of interpretation from the biblical authors so that we can interpret the Bible and life in this world the way they did.” (Page 42)
“For Vos, biblical theology was a kind of exegesis that studied ‘the process of the self-revelation of God deposited in the Bible.’ Biblical theology is ‘the study of the actual self-disclosures of God in time and space which lie back of even the first committal to writing of any Biblical document,’ and it ‘deals with revelation as a divine activity, not as the finished product of that activity.’” (Page 43)