For all of the Bible's popularity both in the church and in Western culture, confusion reigns about what the Bible is, its relationship to God, its relationship to its human authors and readers, and its proper use. Living and Active answers these fundamental questions by looking anew at Scripture from the perspective of Christian doctrine. Rather than treating the Bible as a sourcebook for theology, Telford Work uses systematic theology to build a compelling new doctrine of Scripture: the doctrine of God establishes the Bible's triune character and purpose; the doctrine of salvation explains the mission of Scripture in ancient Israel, in the career of Jesus, and in the life of his followers; the doctrine of the church relates the Bible's qualities to those of its reading communities, describes the relation of Scripture and tradition, and appreciates the Bible's role in worship and in personal salvation. Drawing in this way on the full resources of Christian dogmatics allows us to see the Bible at work accomplishing God's purposes in the world.
Throughout the book, Work incorporates insights from the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinist, Anabaptist, and evangelical traditions in order to produce a truly ecumenical doctrine of Scripture. He also interacts with patristic theology and practice, historical-critical methods of interpretation, and postmodern thought, refusing to draw lines between biblical studies, ethics, history, philosophy, and theology. As a result, Living and Active is the most comprehensive, balanced, and relevant statement of Scripture now available. It clearly portrays the Bible as integral to the economy of salvation and the life of the church, it offers solutions to the current crisis of biblical authority and practice, and it prescribes fruitful ways to preach, teach, and live Scripture in today's world.