Originally from Auckland, after studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago, Alan Thompson has been teaching New Testament at Sydney Missionary & Bible College for nearly 10 years. He is the author of The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus (New Studies in Biblical Theology, IVP, 2011). Married to Alayne with two daughters, Alan especially likes following Southampton Football Club and watching his two girls play netball.
Alan has kindly taken some time to answer some questions about himself and what he’ll be speaking about at this year’s STAND conference.
1. Briefly share with us how you became a Christian.
I was privileged to be taught the gospel from an early age through my parents and church. However, it was the death of someone I knew when I was 21 that the Lord used to open my eyes to my need of his grace and forgiveness through Christ.
2. Why do you think what you’re teaching on is an important topic?
It really is about how you put your Bible together so that’s pretty important!
3. What do you hope will be filling people’s minds and hearts as they walk away from your message(s)?
The richness of God’s word and the wonder of God’s grace for his people in Christ as seen in his unfolding plan.
4. Is there any passage of Scripture that sums up what you’ll be sharing?
“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, Jesus explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27).
5. Can you expound on one point that you’ll be making in your message?
On the one hand, although the Bible has many human authors, ultimately there is one, divine author, God himself. Because there is one divine author, we can expect to find unity and coherence to the Bible. The Bible, therefore, is not a collection of quotations, or even a collection of books, or of various religious observations. There isn’t a plan ‘a’ followed by a plan ‘b’ and then perhaps a plan ‘c.’ Rather, it fits together, it is unified, there is one overarching purpose. On the other hand this doesn’t mean that there is just one point that keeps getting made all the time. As others have noted, the Bible is more like a symphony working in harmony with the various instruments working together in a great orchestra.
6. How has what you’re going to speak on affected your own life?
Understanding “biblical theology” helps me see the richness of God’s word, it helps me grasp more deeply the significance of who the Lord Jesus is and what he came to do, and it helps me think through how to relate and apply the various sections of God’s word.
7. Can you recommend any books, articles, websites, or materials on this topic?
I will mention more in my seminar, but here are three books and a website for now:
- Don Carson, The God Who is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story (Baker, 2010).
- Michael Lawrence, Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church: A Guide for Ministry (Crossway, 2010).
- Vaughan Roberts, God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Story-line of the Bible (IVP, 2003).
See also this edition of Credo Magazine:
8. Why are you looking forward to this year’s conference?
What a great opportunity to hear God’s word from a faithful expositor, servant, and Christian leader like Don Carson. Hearing God’s word, being encouraged by God’s people, and being helped and challenged to apply the Gospel to life and ministry … It isn’t often that opportunities like this come up!
Note: Due to space limitations, we’re not able to take any more registrations for this year’s conference – sorry! Please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates about the conference, and check back on this website where we will make available recordings from all sessions and seminars (Lord willing!).