While no single New Testament document claims to offer a comprehensive theology, Thomas Schreiner suggests that certain recurring themes emerge from the study of the whole. In this volume, he traces key themes as they appear throughout the New Testament canon, exploring the emphases that emerge from a detailed reading of the texts.
Schreiner's approach is based on solid exegesis of all the key texts and leads him to a unified view of core New Testament teaching. He focuses particularly on two overarching themes. The first concerns the unity of redemptive history and the kingdom of God. The New Testament takes up Old Testament imagery and affirms that the kingdom has come (although it remains unfulfilled) in Jesus Christ. The second related theme concerns the goal of the kingdom—the glory of God through the work of Christ and the empowering presence of the Spirit. In the second half of the work, Schreiner takes up the question of what these themes mean for the life of the believer and the ministry of the community of faith. Although this substantial and comprehensive volume will be of great interest to scholars, Schreiner's first concern is to provide an accessible guide for students and pastors. He has succeeded admirably, and readers will find here a lucid exposition of the theology of the New Testament.
Thomas R. Schreiner is professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of Romans in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.
“The thesis advanced in this book is that NT theology is God-focused, Christ-centered, and Spirit-saturated, but the work of the Father, Son, and Spirit must be understood along a salvation-historical timeline; that is, God’s promises are already fulfilled but not yet consummated in Christ Jesus.” (Page 23)
“What we have in John, then, is an ethical and eschatological dualism between truth and error, light and darkness, what is above and what is below.” (Page 91)
“This all-too-brief sketch of Israel’s history helps us understand the significance of Jesus’ claim that the kingdom of God had drawn near (Matt. 4:17; Mark 1:15).8 Those hearing Jesus did not ask for a definition of the kingdom. They understood him to be proclaiming the dawn of a glorious new era in which Israel would be exalted and the nations made subservient to Israel’s God.9 The Lord would reign over the whole earth, the son of David would serve as king, and the exile would be over. The new covenant would be fulfilled, God’s people would keep his law, and the promised new creation would become a reality. The Lord would pour out his Spirit on all flesh, and the promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed, to the ends of the earth, would become a reality.” (Page 45)
“The focus of NT theology is the supremacy of God in Christ through the Spirit, and hence we find that God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ by the Spirit.” (Page 34)
“I suggest that the centrality of God in Christ is the foundational theme for the narrative unfolded in the NT.” (Page 119)