A Biblical Theology
“Just as the Bible itself does not use the word “Trinity” or “inerrancy” while teaching the realities signified by that theological shorthand, so also, I would suggest, the Bible does not use the phrase “centre of Biblical theology” while nevertheless showing the centrality of the glory of God in salvation through judgement.”
Hamilton makes the simple but gargantuan claim that the fundamental subject of the Bible is God’s glory in salvation through judgement. That this is the centre of Biblical theology.
And I am persuaded.
I do not claim to be well-read in this area; could it be that this is why I was so readily taken in? Possibly. But it must also stand as testament to Hamilton’s incredible work in communication, clarity, understanding, detail, charity, conciseness and delight in Scripture that I think I agree that this is what the Word of God is primarily about.
The structure of the book is similar to the weighting given to the world without sin in Scripture; God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgement begins with one chapter on his thesis and methodological questions about Biblical theology (particularly addressing the unpopularity of a “centre” of Biblical theology in a wearied theological and academic community) and closes by lightly tracing how the reader might go about applying this centre. Everything in between involves Hamilton taking each grouping of Biblical books, book by book, and explaining why the centre of these books is God’s glory in salvation through judgement. Heart-burning and relentless, it is never dry, but certainly requires perseverance.
God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgement frequently discusses chiasms, some of which seem questionable, but the fact that this stands out from the self-evident nature of what else he is writing is telling, I think, that he is probably right.
Because of his streamlined aim, there is not much else to say, and it is odd that I am somewhat lost of words.
Hamilton does a spectacular job, and I recommend this book to anybody with a thirst to know more about how the Bible hangs together, and is willing to pour in the tubs of time required to open the floodgates of return.