According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater
Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma
It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds
assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Which Hermeneutic Do We Choose? Christological or Trinitarian?

Christological Exegesis [for Trinitarians]

by J.R. Daniel Kirk
posted August 22, 2011

At the Colloquium on Theological Interpretation this weekend, the issue arose as to whether hermeneutics that strives to be Christian hermeneutics should be Christological or Trinitarian–or whether saying one means you’re doing both.

I argue for Christological rather than Trinitarian. And no, they are not the same thing. Though Trinitarian exegesis will have some Christ in it, and Christological exegesis might lead you to say Trinitarian things about God, in practice they are two different ways of reading the Bible.

The primary reason I attempt to read with and develop a Christological hermeneutic is that the story of Jesus is the hermeneutical grid for reading scripture that the NT writers articulate when they tell us what the scriptures are about.

Whether it’s Luke saying that the suffering, resurrection, and exaltation are what scripture is all about (ch. 24) or John’s Jesus telling the Jewish crowds that the scriptures in which they think they have life testify about him (John 5) or Paul’s declaration that the crucified and risen Christ who is Lord over all including Gentiles (Rom 1) or 1 Peter’s claim that the prophets spoke of the Messiah’s coming suffering and glory–the NT’s Bible-reading hermeneutic is to see that the scriptures tell the story of the suffering and exalted Messiah.

In other words, to read the Bible Christianly is to read it as a story of the crucified and risen Messiah–to read it as an indication of what God is going to finally do within the story to save and deliver God’s people.

The challenge with Trinitarian readings is that they read to insert into the story the Triune identity of God. This means both that:

(1) the Bible becomes less about the story unfolding on its pages than the God who is “out there,” and that,

(2) the person in whom the story is finding its resolution [(Jesus)] is less importantly Israel’s Messiah and more importantly God incarnate.

While the narrative of the suffering servant tells us a great deal about Israel’s God, it does so through the story of the crucified and risen Messiah. In fact, I would argue that we know what we are saying about God is true because when God is read aright God, too, is interpreted through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

That is to say, we do not read the story of Jesus through our prior understanding of God, but we understand God through the revealed story of the saving work of Christ.

A good theology will understand God’s identity as tied to and shaped by the Christ event. Mike Gorman can say that Paul discovers that God himself is cruciform: the interpretive key is the story of Jesus.