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:

  • We come to the text with presuppositions.
  • We read through translations, that were filled with study, scholarship, debate and more.
  • We read through the lens of our place in history, culture, gender, age, education, language, etc.
  • Layer upon layer, bias upon bias.  As if that wasn’t enough, even the people who were listening to Jesus’ words in the moments he spoke them often understood and responded to them differently.  Even his closest friends and disciples got it wrong time and again.

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.

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  1. obeyinggravity reblogged this from nathoz
  2. dreamadove reblogged this from marionettejones and added:
    Great response!
  3. augsblog reblogged this from johnnyis
  4. yarabirham reblogged this from johnnyis and added:
    The fact of the matter is the Scriptures are not as black and white as you like to think they are; heresy arising as a...
  5. hollowandeceptivephilosophy reblogged this from johnnyis and added:
    I’m somewhat conflicted here. On the one hand, I agree that the Bible is inspired by God, and it is really possible for...
  6. johnnyis reblogged this from gospelofthekingdom and added:
    I hope to echo Mike’s candor and humility in this response. Pointing out that a lot of people disagree on how to read...
  7. gospelofthekingdom posted this