I am going to assume, for the moment, that any approach to achieving peaceful coexistence among differing cultures, religions, worldviews, ideologies, etc. will include an account for nurturing epistemic humility. As the world we inhabit “shrinks,” we must find a way to peacefully agree to disagree. More to the point, it is imperative that we realize our ignorance, both individually and as a community.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Finally, we are able to wrap up what has taken me forever to write. Unfortunately, there are couple preliminaries I want to get out of the way. First, it has been suggested that I am attempting to “re-write” how one is trained in the interpretation of scripture. And in similar sentiment, I seem to want a re-structuring of seminary education in general. I understand why someone would get that impression, but it is not quite accurate. The fact is, nothing really changes in method or content as concerns how things are currently done. Honestly, I am surprised that someone hasn't read Part III and walked away laughing.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Finally we come to the “Phenomenological” part in this series of posts. I have brought to issue the historical critical method as it is employed in biblical scholarship. In particular, my concern is that the historical critical method has been inappropriately emphasized and promulgated in the training of church leadership. I have made clear that ultimately what is at issue are not the methods employed, per se, but the worldview assumptions that have been emphasized and promulgated alongside the methods. Thus, I promised to offer a seminary model that takes into account the need for scriptural integrity without having to assume a pre-scientific naiveté. The goal of this model is to create an environment that allows scripture to speak for itself. In other words, we take a “phenomenological approach” to scripture.
Monday, October 1, 2012
What is at issue when I find fault with the historical critical method (understood in the wide sense of modern biblical scholarship)? Let me be very clear: the issue is not the methods employed per se, but the prevailing and even dominating primary assumptions that have driven modern biblical scholarship for approximately the last three hundred years. The fact is three individuals with three different worldviews can use the same methods on the same text and deliver three different interpretations. Hence, the issue is not method, but worldview assumption. So I ask, "What worldview should inform the instructors who teach the preachers who guide the flock?" Let us put the question another way, "If the end result is Christian faith, what should the guiding principles be?" The answer to both questions is "Christian."
Friday, August 31, 2012
Mary is so very excited because today she will begin her first seminary class focused exclusively on scripture. In fact, she gets to spend a whole semester delving into her favorite book, Ephesians. Mary has only come to believe in the great truths of the good news about Jesus Christ within the last few years. Nonetheless, the impact scripture has had upon her understanding and the beautiful changes it has produced in her life have convinced her that this good news can transform anyone, just as she has been so wonderfully transformed.
Mary has a good grasp on the scriptures as she has spent considerable time in them. Ephesians has been especially helpful, yet she has questions. What does it mean that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world? What exactly are these other powers, authorities, and dominions? How are we to understand the recurring motif of light/darkness? So she waits in anticipation for the professor to arrive and open up the scriptures in ways she has heretofore not considered.
The professor walks into the room. With cold calculation and stern appearance he begins without a prayer, “What are the first questions we must ask as we begin to think about Ephesians?” This question must be rhetorical Mary thinks, because he accepts no response but continues, “Who and when. Who wrote Ephesians and when was Ephesians written? This is where we must start.”
This startles Mary. It had never occurred to her to ask, “Who wrote Ephesians?” In fact she had simply assumed that Paul had written Ephesians since it clearly states as much. Now she begins to wonder. As the professor delineates the reasons for and against Pauline authorship Mary concludes that this class will not be as she had assumed. Nonetheless, she listens intently…after all this is a biblical scholar.
Monday, July 30, 2012
This month marks a year of Becoming. I thought it would be interesting to go back and review the various posts from 2011-2012. I have found that my thinking is far from static. This is not to say that I flutter about from opinion to opinion; however, sometimes I do find myself taking a position that I would not have agreed with prior. Or, I find that I missed nuances that may not have been obvious prior. So for the sake of rigorous honesty and regular everyday curiosity…let’s see what we think now.