Michael J. Wilkins & Erik Thoennes, Biblical and Theological Studies (Wheaton: Crossway, 2018), 127 pp.
Almost thirty-five years ago, I sat in my first undergraduate Bible course. It was a steep uphill climb that involved a whole new vocabulary. Those days were both exciting and daunting. One of the missing pieces of my education was a clear big picture. Michael Wilkins and Erik Thoennnes offer exactly what I needed in the early years of my theological education in their book, Biblical and Theological Studies: A Student Guide.
At the heart of this work is a deep and passionate desire to equip the next generation of Christian leaders. This goal is achieved in a short book that delivers a powerful message. The authors provide an overview of what constitutes a solid and substantial Christian education. Two primary aspects are presented, namely, biblical and theological studies. Six attitudes are commended for anyone who truly desires to grow theologically:
- We should study the Bible with fear and worship of God.
- We should study the Bible with growing humility about ourselves.
- We should study with prayerful dependence on the Holy Spirit.
- We should study the Bible with eager expectation to learn much but also expecting to find great mystery and challenges to our thinking.
- We should study the Bible with humble obedience.
- We should study the Bible with heartfelt gratitude and joy.
These attitudes are the necessary prerequisites for anyone who is truly seeking God and desires a theological education that is transformational. To jettison these attitudes is not an act of foolishness; it is a sign that pride has taken root, which ultimately leads to ruinous results.
Moving forward with the proper foundation, Wilkens and Thoennes guide readers through the theological forest. Along the way, they explain the differences between biblical theology and systematic theology. The journey includes each of the necessary steps that will ultimately lead willing students to the Celestial City.
Biblical and Theological Studies is a basic book. It is also an essential book that should be carefully devoured by undergraduates who have their minds and hearts set on a solid theological education.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.