[Common Places] New Voices for Theology: Wesley Hill’s “Paul and the Trinity”
It took its classic, trinitarian form as the early church’s interpretation of Scripture, with theologians intentionally developing hermeneutical constructions and elaborating reading strategies that would do justice to the things they read in the apostolic texts. It was a Bible doctrine. Sure, it was sharpened against the whetstone of heresy, and partly paraphrased into an eclectic philosophical vocabulary, but fundamentally it was an effort to say what was known about God from Scripture.
But over the past few centuries the field of biblical studies has won independence from other theological disciplines, and along the way it has carefully developed its own methods and techniques for construing the teaching contained in the…
Extracurricular Activity 2.14.15 — Why Becoming a Worldly Saint is a Good Thing
Trevin Wax: Your title is provocative. Becoming Worldly Saints is the last thing we want for people, unless we recognize the proper sense of “worldly” versus the improper sense. Can you explain why your title is a good summary for the main point of your book?
Mike Wittmer: The Puritans were called “Worldly Saints” in Leland Ryken’s book by that name, so it may not be as provocative as it sounds. It might just be old-fashioned!
“Worldly Saints” may seem like an oxymoron, but it’s the perfect title for what God calls Christians to be. We must be worldly—enjoying creation, loving friends and family, and excelling in our cultural tasks. All things being equal, Christians should make the best humans. We also must be saints—loving God, fighting sin and…
[Common Places] The Promise and Prospects of Retrieval: Recent Developments in Theological Exegesis
Many of the most interesting developments that have taken place in the fields of biblical studies and systematic theology in the last twenty years can be charted under the heading of “theological interpretation of Scripture.” Even more specifically, narrowing the focus a bit more, it seems that many of these developments may be described with the word retrieval. Biblical scholars and dogmatic theologians are reaching back to eras of the Christian past before the rise of modern ways of reading in order to rediscover and reimagine older habits of biblical interpretation.
Giants of eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century biblical scholarship, such as J. P. Gabler and William Wrede, had argued that study of the biblical texts should be a purely historical discipline. Our goal as readers should not be to itemize the abstract “doctrines” that the “canonical apostles” believed. Instead,…