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Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church: A Guide for Ministry


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Do you want to understand how each part of the Bible fits together to form one unified, unfolding message? Michael Lawrence helps you to do just that. This essential volume presents the substance and practical importance of biblical theology for ministry. He begins with an examination of a pastor’s tools of the trade—exegetical, biblical, and systematic theology—and commends biblical theology as the tool that should never be on the shelf. Lawrence helpfully distinguishes between biblical and systematic theology, but also emphasizes the importance of their collaboration in ministry.

Having laid the foundation for pastoral ministry, Lawrence uses the three tools to build a biblical theology, telling the entire story of the Bible from five different angles. He puts biblical theology to work in four areas: counseling, missions, caring for the poor, and church/state relations. Rich in application and practical insight, this book will equip pastors and church leaders to think, preach, and do ministry through the framework of biblical theology.

With the Logos edition, this valuable volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations and original-language texts, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches with the Topic Guide to instantly gather relevant biblical texts and resources, enabling you to jump into the conversation with the foremost scholars on issues within biblical theology, systematic theology, and the Christian life. Tablet and mobile apps let you take the discussion on the go. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

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Key Features

  • Presents some of the basic tools of exegesis
  • Presents several case studies on preaching
  • Considers the relevance of biblical theology in other areas of ministry


  • Section One: The Tools That Are Needed
    • Exegetical Tools: Grammatical-Historical Method
    • Biblical Theology Tools 1: Covenants, Epochs, and Canon
    • Biblical Theology Tools 2: Prophecy, Typology, and Continuity
    • Biblical and Systematic Theology: Do We Really Need Both?
    • Systematic Theology Tools: How and Why to Think Theologically
  • Section Two: The Stories to Be Told
    • The Story of Creation
    • The Story of the Fall
    • The Story of Love
    • The Story of Sacrifice
    • The Story of Promise
  • Section Three: Putting It Together for the Church
    • Preaching and Teaching (Case Studies)
    • Biblical Theology and the Local Church

Praise for the Print Edition

Usually, you have to go to different sections of the bookstore to find good books on biblical theology, systematic theology, ministry, the church, and the Christian life. At the very least, the relationship between theory and practice seems strained. However, this book brings these concerns together. Michael Lawrence believes that good shepherds are theologians and good theologians are shepherds. For anyone who believes that theology needs the church and the church needs theology, this will be a welcome resource. For anyone playing with the idea, it will be a compelling one.

Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary, CA

Every thoughtful preacher or teacher of the Bible sooner or later faces questions of the nature of biblical theology, its relationship to doctrine (systematic theology), and the practical application of both to the ministry that edifies the church. Following in the footsteps of Geerhardus Vos and Edmund Clowney, Michael Lawrence has provided us with a masterly study that relates biblical theology to systematics, and then applies both to the ministry of the church. This skillfully executed integrative approach breaks new ground in the practical application of biblical theology. Its thoroughness without being over-technical makes it accessible to anyone who wants to be a better preacher or teacher of the Bible.

Graeme Goldsworthy, former lecturer in Old Testament, biblical theology, and hermeneutics, Moore Theological College

I thoroughly appreciated Lawrence’s fresh approach to ecclesiology. While there are many treasures in this book, its primary richness comes from following the flow of redemptive history five times over—each time from a different perspective, built around a different theme. Looking at biblical theology like one stone with many facets was an exceptionally enlightening approach. This is a book to be read and reread.

John MacArthur, pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, CA

If the kind of biblical theology described and commended by Michael Lawrence in this superb book were to take root in the preaching and teaching ministry of pastors, and get into the bloodstream of lay people in the churches, things would bode well indeed for the improvement of our collective grasp of and obedience to the whole counsel of God. Lawrence not only does a brilliant job of introducing a sound biblical theology, but also relates it to the ministry of the church. He offers one of the finest and most accessible discussions of the relation between biblical and systematic theology that I’ve ever read. This is a pastoral must-read for our times. I cannot recommend this book too highly.

—J. Ligon Duncan, John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary

I am deeply thankful for this important book and pray it will be widely read and greatly influential! There is no greater need in the church than biblically grounded theological discernment that informs everyday life. The perspective and methods of ‘doing theology’ that Michael Lawrence provides are crucial for developing this distinctively Christian view of life. Ministry methods and foci today are so often determined by pragmatism, consumerism, trends, and the latest opinion polls rather than a holistic understanding of the Bible. Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church points the way out of this man-centered approach and helps equip leaders for God-honoring, Gospel-advancing ministry. Lawrence writes with the depth of a careful theologian and the heart and experience of a loving pastor. Here he models what he is wanting to produce with this book—pastor/theologians who understand the whole counsel of God’s Word, and are able to translate it into the lives of God’s people for the glory of God.

Erik Thoennes, professor of biblical studies and theology, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

Product Details

  • Title: Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church: A Guide for Ministry
  • Author: Michael Lawrence
  • Series: 9Marks
  • Publisher: Crossway
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 240

Michael Lawrence (PhD, MDiv) is the senior pastor of Hinson Baptist Church in Portland, Oregon. Prior to that, he was pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC for over eight years.


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Digital list price: $13.99
Save $3.00 (21%)