Tag Archives: G.K. Beale

God Dwells Among Us by G.K. Beale and Mitchell Kim

GDAUBeale, G.K. and Mitchell Kim. God Dwells Among Us: Expanding Eden to the Ends of the Earth. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2014. 217 pp. $17.00. Purchase for less at Westminster Books or on Kindle.

Introduction

Mitchell Kim is founding and lead pastor at Living Water Alliance Church in Chicago area. G.K. Beale holds the J. Gresham Machen Chair of New Testament and is professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary. He has written or contributed to a number of books including many commentaries.

Summary

Divided into 11 chapters, the authors take the reader on a biblical theology of the temple from Eden to the Tabernacle to the Temple to Christ to the Church and to the New Heaven and the New Earth. Along the way, they explain how God commanded Adam to “multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). This verse, actually, verses 26-28, serve as the framework for the theology of the book.

The final two chapters offer an apologetic on why this has not been noticed before now and what it means regarding our call to missions.

Review

Too be honest I was extremely interested in this book primarily because I was doing a little bit of study on the Tabernacle instructions and the importance of it to the nation of Israel while in the wilderness. I was not prepared to have my mind blown the way I did. To read how Eden pointed to the tabernacle which pointed to the temple which pointed to Christ who inaugurated the church which looked back on the temple and forward to the new heaven and the new earth and how it is all summed up in Genesis 1:26-28 was enough to make my brain hurt.

Genesis 1:26-28 states

Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’

I share this verse because it is the foundational commandment that has never been rescinded though it has been reiterated (see, Genesis 9:1, 7 and Matthew 28:18-20 as examples). This is their “controlling paradigm” throughout the entire study and was what drove them to understand the importance of Eden lost and Eden restored.

The authors treat this biblical theology with great care and do not shy away from challenges though I felt they attempted to sweep away any criticism with a few paragraphs in the second to last chapter. In the end, their motivation is a clarion call to fulfill the original command to fill the earth which is now accomplished through missions and evangelism.

I believe they succeeded.

Recommendation

I highly recommend this resource to any Christian what want to think a bit deeper and be challenged to see something they may have never seen before now. You will, however, have to read this book twice. The first time you read it will leave you in awe and wonder of the greatness of God. The second time will enable you to begin to understand the magnitude of what is being expressed.

The Erosion of Inerrancy by G.K. Beale

Beale, G.K. The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evagelicalism: Responding to New Challenges to Biblical Authority. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2008. 300 pp. $20.00. Westminster-$13.20.

I think the teaser for the second Jaws movie says it best, “Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water.” For many evangelicals, especially those in the Southern Baptist Convention, the issue of Inerrancy had been fought and won. Well, since that “battle,” we have become lax in our defense of the doctrine of Inerrancy, that the Bible is inerrant in its original manuscripts (autographs). Now, G.K. Beale sounds a much needed alarm alerting us to the need to continue fighting this battle. The argument is centered upon the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and whether or not this confession is outdated given new findings and understandings of the original biblical manuscripts.

Since the topic of Inerrancy is a lightning rod still today, Beale limits the scope of this book to a debate between himself and Peter Enns over Enns’ book Inspiration and Incarnation. The first chapter is the first of Beale’s two reviews of Enns’ book and the second chapter is Beale’s response to Enns’ response of the review. Chapters three and four follow a similar pattern with the third chapter being the second part of Beale’s review. The final three chapters seek to understand specific problems with the view on Inerrancy. The appendices offer more in depth looks into the postmodern view of the Bible.

While Beale does cite extensively Enns’ papers in which he is responding to, and he tells you where they can be found, it would have been nice to read them. However, that would have easily added another one hundred pages to an already 300 page book. It probably would have added to the complexity of the subject matter thus missing the mark by which Beale was aiming—to make this discussion available to the layperson which I believe he did a decent job.

While I would not recommend this book to just anyone, I would highly recommend it to any pastor or seminary student or anyone wanting to understand the doctrine of Inerrancy today. It is important that we, as conservative biblical evangelicals, do not forget those who have gone before us and fought this battle over Inerrancy. If we do, I fear their work may have gone for naught.

Book Reviews