New From Richard Gamble . . .

Gamble BookThanks to Alex for drawing my attention to this fairly recent volume by professor at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Richard C. Gamble.

This is vol. 1 of a projected 3 volume set in which, according to the publisher, “Richard Gamble offers a comprehensive theology attuned to the methodological advantages of biblical theology combined with the strengths of historical and systematic theology. Drawing on the best work in these disciplines throughout church history, he leads us in an integrated pursuit of the whole counsel of God.”

Of vol. 1 in particular: “This volume, the first of three, recounts God’s mighty acts in the Old Testament. It discloses the theology of the Old Testament within the organic, progressive, historical development of the Bible.”

This looks like it should be a great set for those interested in a synthetic approach to biblical theology, systematic theology and historical theology!


9 thoughts on “New From Richard Gamble . . .”

  1. I was just looking through this at RHB. It looks interesting, but I’m a bit confused as to what to call it. Is it an Old Testament Theology? I assume that maybe Vol. 2 will deal with the NT. What is Vol. 3 going to deal with? Systematic Theology? I am a bit concerned over what is meant by “the methodological advantages of biblical theology;” does this seem to you to pit biblical theology over against systematic th.? Not to judge a book by it’s cover, but I’m always a little leary of works that are endorsed by John Frame. I’m probably going to buy this work, but I would like to know a little more about it before I invest in it.


  2. From what I can tell, it’s primarily a BT series. From what friends who know him have said, he doesn’t speak disparagingly toward ST. Rather, like Vos and Murray, he seeks an enriched ST that takes into consideration the progressive and multiform aspects of special revelation.

    It is my understanding that the series does not proceed through the loci, but rather proceeds redemptive historically. (BTW: If any readers can correct me on this, please comment below.)

    As for the endorsement, I understand your concern, but my opinion of endorsements has begun to change as I’ve gotten jaded from talking to guys who have either endorsed or *been* endorsed. I used to think that endorsements were very important indicators of where a book was headed, as though the endorsers had actually read the book and pondered it for a while. While some endorsers may have skimmed large portions of a volume, I don’t know that an endorsement does anything other than provide some guy’s initial impression from a skim of a .pdf of the proofs. . .

    Anyway, thanks for the comment. I’ll eventually get it . . . once I’ve finished working through the Archaeology & History bibliography for one of my comps . . .


  3. I hear you (both) on the endorsements. It seems that increasingly the endorsements are a huge part of marketing, which can get annoying – almost like a superstar grin for a product (like what Jordan was for Nike) or a trailer for the latest movie (two thumbs up from the critics). I guess publishers need to make money, and a good endorsement is worth some cash. Either, way, can’t judge a book by its cover, like you said, Mike (including the endorsements on it!).

    The book does sound interesting, to be sure!


  4. Yeah, I think I’ll eventually pick it up . . . perhaps sooner rather than later, depending on how intriguing my conversations are with Alex over the summer!!! [grin]

    I just re-read the final section of Graeme Goldsworthy’s “Gospel Centered Hermeneutics” and am struck by how necessary (and yet complicated) these BT/ST formulations are. Goldsworthy is really excellent, but even he has a tough time constructively articulating how ST, BT and Exegesis interrelate. I think the analogical relationship between the worlds in and behind the text comes into play even here! I need to work this out a bit more though!


  5. I don’t alwaysnput a lot of stock into endorsements; I heard from one guy who endorsed a book who said that he didn’t hardly read it. I think there may be more of this going on than we realize. You are completely right–endorsements are for sales. That being said, sometimes the ones chosen to endorse a book can give a hint to the theological orientation of the book.


    1. True true, Stephen . . . I don’t mean to imply that endorsements don’t tell us anything. That’s a good corrective.


  6. I’ve been waiting for the release of this for a few years now! What I thought to be a small preview in “Always Reforming,” (IVP) however, left me disappointed.


  7. How so, Dante? I haven’t had the chance to read that yet and I just noticed last week that he contributed to it. Any summary you might have is appreciated!


  8. I don’t own the book so I can’t turn to it for you, and it has been a couple of years since I read his essay which I thought of as being prolegomic to his project. (Is ‘prolegomic’ a word?) At any rate, what stands out in my mind is that there was just nothing insightful or unique about it. It didn’t impact me the way Gaffin or Murray articles or Vos’ inaugural address did. R Lints’ “Fabric of Theology” was much more penetrating than Gamble. There were even key relevant articles by Silva and Carson he didn’t reference.

    The only other thing that stands out in my mind was an odd Kuyperian attitude in his chapter. Kingdom Prologue, 201 came to mind when I read that.

    I look forward to seeing Gamble’s work (P&R delayed it for years), but I just wish Kline could have done what Gamble is setting out to do (see By Oath Consigned, 29).

    Concerning BT/ST, I’ll leave you with these little nuggets from EJ Young that I read just last week that give correction to both the exegete and the systematician.

    “…to reject ST in the interests of a supposed BT is really to render impossible the study of true BT.”

    “If the student of ST does not constantly engage in exegesis, he is likely to fall into the error of merely parroting credal statements of a by-gone day.”

    “What is Old Testament Biblical Theology?” EvQ 31 (1959): 140.


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