Saturday, October 24, 2009

In Canonical Context Explained

As you may have noticed, I have recently written a couple of posts which have a title ending in 'in Canonical Context.' This is a series that I intend to run in perpetuity on this blog, and I consider it to be the most important series that I will do. I spoke with one of my friends today, and he seemed unclear on what my goals with this series are, so I figure it would be worth while to explain what you can expect from me in these posts.

Everyone comes to the text with a theological grid through which they read the text. This obviously (and rightly) affects the way we understand the text. In an ideal world, though, it does not stop there. The text should then inform our theological grid. Our preconceived notions about what the Bible says should be modified to incorporate the new data this text is providing us with. Unfortunately, in my experience, I have found that too few people allow the text to change their perspectives. If a text doesn't completely comport, it gets minimized, or even worse, explained away. This causes our reading of Scripture to be flat and limp in comparison to the robustness that we could have.

The purpose of this series of posts is to try to see how the passage or book under examination rounds out our understanding of different issues, particularly highlighting the text's unique perspectives and/or emphases. Sometimes this will involve taking a specific section of Scripture and what I see as common inadequate interpretive moves that are performed either on that text, or on another text dealing with similar themes and showing how this specific passage challenges those views. My goal is to construct well balanced theology (and that sometimes requires some destruction along the way).

Thus the goal of this series is to help us in our quest to have our theology informed by Scripture. As our knowledge of the Bible grows, our theology should grow too which will result in our growth as children of God.

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