Johnny and I go back a year and a half or so of blogging; he helped me spread the word about my trip as I was raising funding for the world race. This was from a brief interaction last night and I had asked him if I could post this, hopefully for us to dialogue. I hope this comes across in a humble manner, that’s my intention. With that said.
"Scripture interprets Scripture for us."
If only it was so clear. If we are being rational and honest, we will have to accept the ambiguity and complexity in the Bible. In Christian Smith’s brilliant work “The Bible Made Impossible" Smith writes about pervasive interpretive pluralism. He addresses how well-meaning, well-educated, smart, serious Bible readers come away from studying scripture believing that it teaches many different things on most theological topics imaginable, both small and large. I highly recommend reading it. I have a post I made in December with quotes from N.T. Wright, D.A. Carson, and Robert K. Johnson that was taken from Smith’s book.
"The perspicuity of Scripture was not invented at the Reformation;"
The perspicuity of Scripture that you’re speaking of at the Reformation is non-existent.
Something that is very important to take into account is that we never come to the Scriptures alone; a great article by my brother Jamie addresses this well. From the article:
He concludes that ‘the Spirit quickens our understanding of Scripture as we seek to discern together as community’. Which brings me back to my original question. What is your approach to Holy Scripture and who are the theologians who influence you? I would love to hear you address that.
I’ll go first. For me,
The word of God is a sacred signpost to the true Word of God. After all, Christ never prayed that we be one with a theory about the Bible, but rather, that our unity would be found in the fact we all believe the same message about the One who God sent. It is when the church seeks again to locate its inner coherence in Christ, as scripture also does, that we can at long last be the answer to Jesus’ prayer.
Some theologians, by no means exhaustive, who influence me would be: N.T. Wright, Pete Enns, F.F. Bruce, Stanley Hauerwas, Greg Boyd, Scot McKnight, and Peter Rollins.