The past three years have seen a massive surge in books on biblical theology. Biblical theology is concerned with understanding the story and thought world of the Bible. While a number of proposals have come along including Dr. Jim Hamilton’s Salvation Through Judgment; a new proposal has come out by one of the most respected New Testament theologians, Dr. Thomas R. Schreiner who wrote The King In His Beauty A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments. Dr. Schreiner’s book emphasizes three interrelated and unified themes that stand out in the biblical narrative: God as Lord, human beings as those who are made in God’s image, and the land or place in which God’s rule is exercised. The goal of God’s kingdom is to see the king in his beauty and to be enraptured in His glory.
The book is organized around nine parts: 1) Creation to the Edge of Canaan (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy), 2) The Story of Possession, Exile, and Return (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, Esther), 3) Israel’s Songs and Wisdom (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs), 4) Judgment and Salvation in the Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Minor Prophets), 5) The Kingdom in Matthew, Mark and Luke-Acts, 6) Eternal Life in the Gospel and Epistles of John, 7) The End of the Age Has come according to the Apostle Paul (an exploration of the theology of Paul), 8) Living in the Last Days according to the General Epistles (Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude), and the Book of Revelation.
One of the more interesting features of this book is the interlude after each part concludes. Here the author seeks to take a look back at how the Bible unfolds from Genesis to the point where the author is in the biblical story. This is a unique feature that I think is extremely helpful to the reader to understand where the reader has come from in terms of the author’s argument and helps the reader locate themselves within the broader framework of redemptive history.
At over 600 pages The King in His Beauty is a long but very helpful book. There is not a wasted sentence in this book as Dr. Schreiner progresses his argument with great care while managing to bring his reader along with him. Since this is mostly an academic book seeking to advance the discussion on biblical theology, I think this book would be good for upperclassmen religion majors, seminary students, Pastors, ministry leaders and professors. Wherever you find yourself on that spectrum The King in His Beauty has something for you. First it will help you understand the storyline of the Bible in fresh and helpful ways while remaining faithful to the Scripture. Second, Schreiner work guides his readers through the history of redemptive showing the Bible’s theme of the kingdom or rule of God. Finally, The King in His Beauty will help bring Christians to an appreciation for the entire Bible. I recommend The King in His Beauty, a great resource from a top flight biblical scholar. I know in my own study of the Bible, I will be returning often to this great resource time and time again for Dr. Schreiner’s insights into the storyline of the Bible.
Author: Thomas R. Schreiner
Publisher: Baker Academic (2013)
I received this for free from Baker Academic book review program for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Dave Jenkins is happily married to his wife, Sarah. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021), The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022), and Contentment: The Journey of a Lifetime (Theology for Life, 2024). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.