Jacob Aitken's Reviews > A Theology of the New Testament

A Theology of the New Testament by George Eldon Ladd
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's review
Aug 04, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: eschatology, kingdom-power, new-testament
Read in June, 2012

I have to edit this review somewhat. I had earlier called Ladd the "last of the old biblical theology guys." I don't think that is accurate. His "already/not yet" model broke new ground.

Ladd is noted for two positions in this book: his claim that the Church and the Kingdom are not identical to each other (contra the Westminster Confession of Faith) and historic premillennialism.

As for the first point. He makes a good argument for the two being distinct, and I think I lean towards his position. But his argument isn't air-tight and one gets the impression that the biblical evidence is actually ambiguous. Maybe it is the Bible's way of telling us this is the wrong question to ask. Maybe the way we ask the question reveals an artificial outlook on Kingdom vs. Church. This is certainly damaging to the more gnostic versions of Reformedom .

As to his second point, I must demur. I demur for two reasons.

I had earlier rejected Ladd's premillennialism. Now I hold to it.

This book is good, but is quite dated. On an intersting side note, Hagner and the other editors espouse the New Perspective reading on Paul. In a footnote they correct Ladd's view on the "Israelite trying to merit his salvation."

Edit: I now lean towards Ladd's historic premil view.
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Quotes Jacob Liked

George Eldon Ladd
“The presence of the messianic salvation is also seen in Jesus' miracles of healing, for which the Greek word meaning "to save" is used. The presence of the Kingdom of God in Jesus meant deliverance from hemorrhage (Mk 5:34), blindness (Mk 10:52), demon possession (Lk 8:36), and even death itself (Mk 5:23). Jesus claimed that these deliverances were evidences of the presence of the messianic salvation (Mt 11:4-5). They were pledges of the life of the eschatological Kingdom that will finally mean immortality for the body. The Kingdom of God is concerned not only with people’s souls but with the salvation of the whole person.”
George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament

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message 1: by Richard (new)

Richard Jacob wrote: "Shortly after Ladd left the scene theologians from all traditions and perspectives, be they post-liberal or conservative, began to see the Bible in a more ancient fashion reminiscent of St Irenaeus and St Justin Martyr: They read the Bible as a story. And if it is a story, and we have a whole bible, then it necessarily follows that the themes in the Bible will play off one another, and shed light on each other."

You might want to try this: The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story

Jacob Aitken I read about half of it some years ago. If I find it used I might try to get it.

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