The Necessity of Theology by Michael F. Bird

After remarking that “theology is far from a tertiary exercise of a purely academic pursuit,” NT scholar Michael F. Bird lists five “cogent reasons” for theology’s necessity:

“1. Theology is necessary to provide clarification and unity to the diverse body of biblical materials.

2. Theology is necessary to respond to the ever-evolving challenges of being a Christian in our contemporary culture.

3. Theology is a necessary part of discipleship in the church and an important element of our witness to the world.

4. Theology is necessary to maintain the integrity of the faith that we profess against incursions from both inside and outside the church.

5. Theology is necessary because it is our task to tell the story of God, to show where we fit into that story, and to decide how to live out that story appropriately.”

Mike Bird’s recent Evangelical Theology is a solid contribution in an effort to do theology in the tradition of systematics.

I find myself reading large portions of Bird’s Theology because, not only is it lively, but it is a very good effort of integrating biblical and systematic theology, with the evangel as it cornerstone, if you will.

As a New Testament scholar, Mike Bird has proven to be a very capable theologian, especially in his interaction with the theological giants of yesteryear.

I highly commend Bird’s Evangelical Theology.

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2 Responses to The Necessity of Theology by Michael F. Bird

  1. Jon Hughes says:


    I purchased it on my Kindle, but got an immediate refund on reading his derogatory comments about Rob Bell’s “little book”, and the way he casually sweeps away what are actually quite sophisticated arguments concerning the meaning and usage of ‘olam’ and ‘aionios’ in the O.T. and N.T. respectively. (I think you’ll find it in part 3.7.)

    He doesn’t have to like Rob Bell, but the subject of universal reconciliation won’t go away, and will have to be interacted with a little bit more substantially than that.

  2. TC says:

    Jon, I understand. But I figure when a person’s mind is settled on a matter it is easy to do that. Perhaps this slighting is not viewed as “truly” scholarly. But N.T. Wright did something similar with John Piper a few years ago (remember his “Justification”).

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