Book Review: Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church

theologyMichael Lawrence earned a M.Div. degree at Gordon-Conwell a PhD from Cambridge University. He served as Associate Pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC and currently serves as Senior Pastor at Hinson Baptist Church in Portland, OR. This is Lawrence’s third book.

With biblical theology we posses what we need for effective ministry in the churches and in our lives. Outside of biblical theology we have a Bible full of moral tales and irrelevant history. Scripture is sufficient. Too many of our modern churches teach that the Old Testament is simply moral examples and the New Testament tells us how to get right with God. The Bible, however, is not a “how to” book or a book where we seek “the answers.” Instead it is an outline of how God, throughout history and in the future, will bring great glory to himself. It explains our purpose helps and us understand the gift we have been given. Theology places us in the center of the biblical narrative.

The author explains that our theology determines the shape and character of our ministry. Theology is how we move from the text of Scripture to how we should live our lives today. Exegesis is the disciplined attempt to pull from a text the author’s original intent, rather than our own personal preferences, experiences or opinions.

This is an easy to understand book on Biblical and Systematic Theology and how they apply to our churches and the average believer. The author helps us to understand that theology transforms the Bible from a group of unrelated Sunday school tales into an intricately woven series of related narratives that communicate God’s truth. The author helps the reader to apply God’s reality to our modern preaching and teaching.

As modern American culture, and even contemporary evangelical culture, has essentially deserted its Christian roots, it has become oblivious to the historic presentation of the gospel. Lawrence points out the pestilence that has become the modern, watered-down, feel-good, theology of the Western church. The author helps us see that theology has an important place in the life of every disciple of Christ.

About Mike

Mike, 49, grew up in California and spent 38 years of his life there. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike worked in the California State Senate for 12 years. He became a Christian at the age of 20. Mike was a Ruling Elder at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church(PCA) for seven years. While at Soaring Oaks, Mike served as the Director of the High School Youth Group, Sunday school teacher, and instructor of evangelism. His cross-cultural missions experience includes five short term trips to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Peru (Lima and Cusco) through Mission to the World (MTW). He has volunteered with World Relief by teaching and counseling international refugees. Mike has also attended cross-cultural church planting conferences in New York and Orlando and completed the Perspectives course on the World Christian Movement. He attended Bible Study Fellowship for two years. He is a certified instructor through Evangelism Explosion and is a certified trainer of the Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention program. He completed MTW‘s Disaster Response Training. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. Mike received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike was a Ruling Elder, Youth Group Leader, adult Sunday school teacher and evangelism instructor at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove, CA. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. From 2007 to 2017 Mike served as a fulltime missionary for MTW. Mike served as Team Leader, Church Planter, and Seminary Professor. Mike and his wife Erin served in Honduras in Central America and Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa. Mike currently serves as the Director of the MTW West Coast Hub where he trains and mentors new missionaries from CA, AZ, & NV. Mike is also busy writing his next book.
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