The new "Biblical theology" movement, also known as redemptive-historical theology, puts man's wisdom in authority over God's Word, with disastrous results.
It used to be that “Biblical theology” together with “*systematic theology” looked at the Bible "as it comes" - book by book, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, to answer questions regarding the message of a particular book of the Bible and its relationship to the rest of Scripture.
Both methods of studying God's Word are founded on the principle that the Scriptures reveal a single God-ordained, well-ordered, consistent, and unchanging system of doctrine. It must be understood that the two ways of studying the Bible must go hand-in-hand, because when we separate Biblical theology from systematic theology we begin looking at the Bible in ways that lead to false teaching.
There has been a movement over the past few decades to create a different kind of "Biblical theology." I have noticed this approach by some “well meaning” members right here in C C. This movement has proved itself a grave danger to the church. This new “Biblical theology” movement insists on studying "theologies" in the plural and in semi-isolation - the "theology of Paul" - the "theology of Peter" - the "theology of John" - the "theology of James" - or even the "theology of Jesus."
This new movement categorizes certain scriptures to an inferior rank or position of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit's primary authorship of all Scripture to a secondary status. In such an atmosphere, theologians can stand in judgment of the Scriptures rather than submitting to the judgment of the Word. This is called “Dialectical theology.”
Dialectical theology is the false idea that the Bible contains contradictions that have to be synthesized and resolved through human reasoning. Advocates of the new "Biblical theology" deny the overall unity and coherence of Scripture. From there they take only a small step to the false conclusion that there is no single, God-articulated Biblical doctrine, inventing humanly-articulated systems of doctrine that individuals can rightfully claim to be valid even though they contradict one another.
Such thinking produces a theological Tower of Babel.
If there is no overall unity in the Bible, no coherence in all its parts, then the “*systematic theologian” is on a fool's errand. This is precisely the conclusion of much of the modern theological world.
At the same time that “*systematic theology” was falling into disfavor, this new "Biblical theology" movement has been growing in popularity, rendering the incorporation of “*systematic theology” as unacceptable to this new "Biblical theology".
If the Bible is without genuine discrepancy, inconsistency, or error, then the analytical search of its text for a system of truth is not only legitimate, it is mandatory. If God has consistently revealed His truth to us in the Scriptures, then it is incumbent that we analyze the whole Bible when seeking to know His mind on any particular point.
Systematic theology is a necessary discipline in the pursuit of both knowing and proclaiming the whole counsel of God. It will curb careless exegesis which results in fantasizing and contradictory expositions of various texts. This is the case today in much of the Evangelical church.
The modern "Biblical theology" movement is responsible for the denial or compromise of many foundational doctrines. By placing Paul, and James, the Old and New testaments at odds with each other, many modern Biblical theology advocates inadvertently deny the true doctrine of justification by faith in Christ alone. They say that there is a stark difference between the "spiritual" and “physical” parts of the Bible as though man has the right to draw lines between the two in the pages of God's Word. Jesus taught in parables to bring the truth together as One.
The church needs to return to Scripture-driven theology - the legitimate hand-in-hand studies of Biblical theology and systematic theology, both resting on the Bible-based foreknowledge, and foreshadowing, that every word of God's Word is inspired, inerrant, infallible, and uniquely authoritative and valid for true edification minus contradiction or separation. The Bible alone must be our sole authority and infallible critic in every area of life and ministry.
Here is an example of the new “Biblical theology” movement, and how some might interpret this scripture.
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” 2 Peter 1:20
This new theology can cause a person to believe that the Old Testament foretelling of Jesus as the Messiah is true and confirmed, but other parts of the Old Testament that are not counted as prophecy do not apply to this verse because it isn't prophecy. Then the following scripture could be used to say that Jesus is only speaking to the Pharisees about the prophecy of Himself, dwelling among us as the “Son of Man” only.
“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” John 5:46-47
This false interpretation of the truth then justifies the purposeful rejection of other scriptures as being irrelevant according to ones own religion and belief system.