Beale the Balsam Tree

I had the privilege of introducing G. K. Beale at his first Gheens lecture here at SBTS today. It was an opportunity for me to heed 1 Thessalonians 5:12–13, and I want to take the opportunity to give thanks to God for Dr. Beale’s ministry by posting my words of introduction here as well:

G. K. Beale is a balsam tree. Balsam is a fragrant aroma or the tree that produces it, and from these trees comes an oleoresin that has medicinal value: balm. G. K. Beale is a balsam tree planted by streams of living water, bearing fruit in season and out, leading people to the balm in Gilead. In my own experience, I was taught that the authors of the NT make illegitimate appeals to the OT in ways that should not be imitated. The two tall scholarly trees that God used to open my mind to understand the Scriptures, to begin down the path of seeing that the authors of the NT rightly understood the OT, were Drs. Thomas R. Schreiner and G. K. Beale.

Dr. Beale’s book The Temple and the Church’s Mission is a paradigm shifting, seminal work, his book The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism is a faithful diagnosis from a loving physician, and his forthcoming New Testament Biblical Theology will stand with the titans of the genre.

Now flow the waters, drawn from the well,
Whence floweth our life, breaking the spell
Cast by the foe, that we too may know
Him whose suff’ring and glory the Scriptures show.

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