Biblical Theology: Ballast for Preaching (Part 3 of 3)


Editor’s note: This is the third article in a three-part series. Part 1 | Part 2

My first exposure to biblical theology was back in 1984 as a seminary student. One of my professors assigned us Biblical Theology by Gerhardus Vos. I found it heavy sledding, but formative all the same. Later I dove into Jonathan Edwards, The History of Redemption.

Then, as the years piled on, I encountered Graeme Goldsworthy’s Gospel and Kingdom, as well as an assortment of other works in the same discipline. In 2004 I made my own attempt at bringing biblical theology down to a child’s level with The Big Picture Story Bible. Suffice it to say, I’ve been intrigued with the ballast biblical theology can provide to pastoral ministry for over 30 years now.

Yet a fundamental shift is underway regarding how the content and concepts of biblical theology are delivered to those looking to grow in preaching and teaching. Gone are the days when pastors simply picked up a book as the only way of making progress. Rather, people are becoming increasingly convinced that the kind of training they need requires something that not only informs them, but helps them work on their own work. And for that, the world is increasingly turning to online platforms for help.

To this end, the Charles Simeon Trust (which I serve as the Chairman) has created an interactive online course called Preaching and Biblical Theology. And with fifteen HD video lectures delivered by the likes of Greg Beale, Don Carson, Graeme Goldsworthy, Vaughn Roberts, Michael Lawrence, and others, we think it is one of the better things going! It combines the best of classroom instruction with hands-on interaction and assignments.

Already, people across the country are taking it as individuals or in groups. And the feedback we are getting back is encouraging. It is accomplishing the goal of putting some ballast back into pastoral work. Some are even taking it for seminary credit.

There are not many other comprehensive tools for receiving this level of training on preaching and biblical theology. So, if you want a free sample of what an online lecture is like, check out this talk  by Greg Beale. For more information you can visit or email

In these three posts, we have explored how biblical theology is meant to put ballast into your preaching. The tools of plot, theme, typology and analogy have been introduced, and an online course has been made available. The only thing that remains is for us to commit to taking in the ballast that our preaching so desperately needs.

David Helm

David Helm is one of the pastors of Christ Church Chicago in Chicago and Chairman of the Charles Simeon Trust.

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