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The Design of the Scriptures - A First Reader in Biblical Theology by Robert C. Dentan

Robert C. Dentan was Professor of Old Testament Literature and Interpretation at the General Theological Seminary in New York. He is the author of The King and His Cross; Preface to Old Testament Theology; The Holy Scriptures: A Survey (a volume in the Seabury Press Church’s Teaching Series), and The Apocrypha, Bridge of the Testaments. This book was prepared for Religion Online by Richard Kendall.


Part I – History
This part deals with the theological meaning of historical events as seen in the Old and New Testaments. These events are grouped as follows:

i. Paradise Lost
ii. The Covenant of Faith
iii. The Covenant of Law
iv. The Promised Land
v. The Founding of the Kingdom
vi. David—The Messiah King
vii. Solomon in All His Glory
viii. A House Divided
ix. Elijah—The Troubler of Israel
x. Elisha and the Great Revolt
xi. Amos and Hosea—Heralds of Judgment
xii. Isaiah—Prophet of Faith
xiii. Jeremiah and the New Covenant
xiv. Ezekiel and the Exile
xv. Second Isaiah and the Return from Exile
xvi. After the Return—New Troubles and New Hopes
xvii. The Age of the Maccabees
xviii. Jesus and the Gospel of the Kingdom
xix. Jesus—Himself the King
xx. The Crucified Messiah
xxi. The Risen Lord
xxii. The Birth of the New Israel
xxiii. The Church at Jerusalem
xxiv. St. Paul—The Missionary
xxv. St. Paul—The Pastor
The End of the Story

Part II - Doctrine
The Second Part deals with the abiding assertions or teachings about the nature of God and His relation to man to which Biblical history gives rise. This part includes the following sections:

i. God the Creator
ii. God the All-Powerful
iii. God the All-Knowing
iv. God the Inescapable
v. God the Righteous Judge
vi. The God of Love
vii. God as Man’s Helper
viii. Man as God’s Creature
ix. Man as a Sinful Creature
x. The Unity of Man’s Nature
xi. Man’s Capacity for Redemption
xii. Man’s Need of a Redeemer
xiii. Jesus the Fulfillment of Man’s Need
xiv. Christ our Brother
xv. Life through His Death
xvi Victory through His Resurrection
xvii. The Kingship of Christ
xviii. The Deity of Christ
xix. Salvation by Faith
xx. The Gift of the Holy Spirit
xxi. The Holy Trinity
xxii.. The Church
xxiii. The Ministry
xxiv. The Sacraments
xxv. Life after Death
xxvi. The Goal—Fellowship with God

Part Three: Life
This part deals with the forms of piety and of personal and corporate existence which Biblical history and acceptance of Biblical doctrine necessarily imply. It includes the following sections:

i. Life under Judgment
ii .Newness of Life
iii. Life in Christ
iv .Worship
v. Hearing the Word
vi .Communion
vii. Working for God
viii. The Moral Struggle
ix. Study
x. Prayer
xi. Faith
xii. Hope
xiii. Love
xiv. Penitence
xv. Thankfulness
xvi. Humility
xvii. Wisdom
xviii. Justice
xix. Temperance
xx. Fortitude
xxi. Marriage

xxii. Family Life
xxiii. The State
xxiv .Corporate Responsibility
xxv. Social Justice
xxvi. International Relations

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