As a pastor-scholar and professor of New Testament, I recognize that my sermons and lectures must stand under the authority and influence of scripture. Biblical theology as defined by Larry Helyer “is the lifeblood of the church. There is unquestionably a correlation between the pastor’s grasp of biblical theology and the spiritual vitality of the parishioners.” My passion remains to vibrantly guide the church and the academy to embrace a historical faith that changes lives for Christ. Indeed, a thinking faith led by the Spirit can produce a sanctified people. John Webster affirms, “Christian theology of holiness is an exercise of holy reason.” There is no greater joy for a pastor than to mentor a congregation and students in this vital direction of faith.
After the fall of humankind in Genesis, God initiated his redemptive plan. The canon of scripture contains God’s eternal reach for his creation. Basic study of the Bible must include a total understanding of both testaments. Commentator John Bright declared in The Kingdom of God that the “Old Testament and New Testament stand together as the two acts of a single drama.” The supreme mark of the coming of Christ was his introduction of the Kingdom of God to earth. In his three years of ministry he preached, taught and healed (Matt. 9: 35) and transmitting the Good News of the Old Testament prophets (Isa. 52:7) and the kingdom to humankind. In essence, “Jesus understood his ministry in terms of the in breaking of the Kingdom of God.”  The kingdom provided “the miracle of the divine life among [us]. It is …the supernatural work of God’s grace.” In addition, to the apostle Paul, Jesus was the Son of God, equating Jesus with God and the kingdom (Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 2:9).
The centrality of the cross was Christ’s focus as Hebrews 12:2 proclaimed, “for the joy that was set before him he endured the cross.” Multiple scriptures speak of his ultimate aim to suffer on the cross and absorb the sins of the world (Mark 9:30-32; 10:32-34; 10:45; 14:24; Luke 18:31-34. As Luke the gospel writer penned, Jesus’ face was “set like flint” (cf. Isa. 50:7; Luke 9:51) toward Jerusalem. This determination fueled his passion to save the world by his death on the cross.
The preaching of the cross was Paul’s theme (1 Cor. 1:18). James Dunn writes, “Christ crucified and raised’ was at the heart of the gospel transmitted to Paul by his predecessors.” The apostle boldly admitted that he only preached Christ crucified (I Cor. 2:5) and “is supremely a theologian of the cross.” (Gal. 6:14; 1 Cor. 1:18). As a result, the Gospel led to the cross, by which one was saved (Rom. 10:15; 1 Cor. 15:1-3, 3-7). Dunn remarks, “the focal point of Paul’s gospel is the death and resurrection of Christ. The death of Christ is salvific, that is Christ crucified ‘for us,’ ‘for our salvation.’” Thus, the kingdom culminated in Jesus and his death on the cross (Phil. 2:5-11).
In conclusion, my ministry as a pastor and professor believes that all theology must lead to the cross. Certainly, “the wisdom of the cross will outlive postmodernism in all its forms.” The redemptive history of the Bible on the coming kingdom is made known in the cross. Consequently, the renewal of all creation to its original state is the goal of God’s redeeming works (Rom. 8:22) and his eschatological purpose will be accomplished in his eternal kingdom!
 Larry R. Helyer. The Witness of Jesus, Paul, and John: An Exploration in Biblical Theology. (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2008), 43.
John Webster. Holiness. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), 10.
John Bright. The Kingdom of God. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1953), 197.
George Ladd. The Gospel of the Kingdom. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1958), 64-5.
 James D. G. Dunn. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to St. Paul. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 177.
 Anthony C. Thiselton, The Living Paul. An Introduction to the Apostle’s Life and Thought. (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2009), 162.
Bright, John. The Kingdom of God. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1953.
Dunn, James D. G. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to St. Paul. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Helyer, Larry R. The Witness of Jesus, Paul and John: An Exploration in Biblical Theology. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2008.
Ladd, George. The Gospel of the Kingdom. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1958.
Thiselton, Anthony C. The Living Paul. An Introduction to the Apostle’s Life and Thought. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2009.
Webster, John. Holiness. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003.