Casillas, Ken. Beyond Chapter and Verse: The Theology and Practice of Biblical Application. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2018. 323 pages.
My friend Dr. Ken Casillas, Professor of Old Testament Bob Jones University, recently completed a new book on applying Scripture. I encourage you to check it out.
My Endorsement:

Casillas wrote this book with the heart of a pastor and with the biblically-based conviction that Christ saves believers not only from God’s wrath but in order that we may increasingly image God’s holiness. Beyond Chapter and Verse supplies Christians with a theological framework and method for applying Scripture to our everyday lives. Casillas suggests that our interpretive quest is to distinguish the time bound elements from the timeless truths, and he supplies a host of Old and New Testament examples that model an approach to Scripture that takes seriously the power of the gospel to save––past, present, and future. He helpfully distinguishes his approach from legalism, defines Christian liberty, and saturates his discussion with rich and careful biblical exposition. This thoroughly researched book is worshipful and will help those of us in Christ become more who we already are and who Christ saved us to be.
––Jason S. DeRouchie, Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology at Bethlehem College & Seminary and an elder of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN


I appreciate Ken’s approach. I believe, however, that he could his enhance his principalizing model with a more robust wrestling with how Scripture progresses, integrates, and climaxes in Christ. I think a redemptive-historical approach over a mere principalizing-paradigmatic model more faithfully represents how the New Testament authors apply their Old Testaments. For more on my process for applying Scripture, see chapter 12 in How to Understand and Apply the Old Testament.

Publisher’s Description:

Do you struggle to connect the dots between the Bible and your life? While Christians instinctively want to apply Scripture, we encounter difficulties that can discourage us and diminish our engagement with God’s Word. Indeed, biblical application has suffered in various ways in the church–everything from neglect to abuse to contempt.

Responding to such challenges, Beyond Chapter and Verse provides a biblically based rationale for the practice of application and then proposes a biblically consistent method for application. The book is substantive but accessible, relevant for believers generally as well as preachers. It begins by sketching the broad theological context of Bible application, relating it to the gospel generally and to sanctification specifically. The heart of the study then synthesizes key Old and New Testament passages relative to the process of application. Building on this foundation, the book sets forth a sensible approach for arriving at legitimate applications of Scripture. A rich assortment of positive and negative case studies illustrates the method, motivating believers to apply the Scriptures for themselves.

Table of Contents:


Part 1: The Context of Biblical Application
1. It’s All about the Gospel
2. Surveying Sanctification
3. Become Who You Are

Part 2: The Necessity of Biblical Application
4. The Nature of Scripture
5. The Scope of Sanctification

Part 3: Patterns for Biblical Application
6. Foundational Application Patterns
7. Application Patterns in the Epistles

Part 4: Objections to Biblical Application
8. The Sufficiency of Scripture
9. The Problem of Legalism
10. Christian Liberty

Part 5: Procedures for Biblical Application
11. Moving from the Bible to Life
12. The Meaning of Meaning
13. Assessing Implications
14. Seeking Significance
15. Moving from Life to the Bible
16. Work and Church
17. Ending in Song

Appendix: The Storyline of Scripture