Dr. Beale in SBTS Magazine
May 09, 2011
Rev. Dr. Greg Beale, professor of New Testament and biblical theology, was recently featured in The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's magazine Towers
3 Questions with G. K. Beale
1. Why is biblical theology important to the life of the local church?
Christians need to plant themselves in the midst of the redemptive-historical story, not thinking they’re living after it and hearing about it. Typical Christians in our churches see themselves outside of the redemptive-historical stories in the Scriptures of the Old Testament as it’s developed in the New Testament; they see themselves as living after the Bible. But in fact, they’re still living in the midst of that story that the New Testament is narrating as fulfillment of the Old Testament redemptive- historical story. Christians need to know where they are and who they are – they’re true Israel; they’re beginning to fulfill the restoration promises; they’re a new creation, not analogically but literally; they’re resurrected beings, not analogically but literally; they’re a temple, not analogically but literally. They’re a new creation though it’s not consummated.
I would contend that this changes people’s lives if they really believe it.
2. Which is your preferred study area: a remote, quiet location such as a library or office or a place among other people such as a coffee shop?
I like to get into a study area – away from people. My philosophy is that – when I’m not teaching – you should try to study for six hours a day. And that’s it. If I get six hours in a day week-in and week-out by the time I’m 90 years old, I will have written something. You’ll be amazed at how much six hours a day will do.
My creative juices quit flowing after six hours. When you’re talking day after day, week after week, and month after month, that’s a long time. If you do six hours a day, then you do something. When I teach, which is at least two or three days of the week, I’m not writing as much. But during summers, sabbaticals and January breaks, I’m always writing.
In the summers, my wife and I go to Maine for two months. We live in a little cabin up there and I probably get more work done up there than anywhere. I can take a walk on the coast, and that gives my mind a refreshing break.
3. If you could have coffee with anyone who has ever lived, whom would you choose?
I think I would say Paul. He really crystallizes the implications of the Gospel for the Christian more systematically, biblically and theologically than the other New Testament writers although one wouldn’t want to think that they’re not biblical and theological. They are, but Paul does it a little more systematically and he’s steeped in the Old Testament. All the New Testament writers were steeped in the Old Testament as well, but it’s a matter of degree – and he wrote so much.
This article has been reprinted courtesy of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.