Whew! Ok, back to Joel Green’s Seized by Truth. I’m currenting posting on each of the main points in chapter 3. This post concerns his point that “reading Scripture must be theologically formed.”
In a way, this point is the dominant theme throughout the book, encapsulated well in the following line: “a reading of the Bible as Christian Scripture can never be fully satisfied with anything less than the interpretive practices oriented toward shaping and nurturing the faith and life of God’s people” (p. 79). This commitment involves three implications:
1. The importance of the Old Testament – The New Testament is “firmly situated within the grand narrative of God’s purpose.”
2. The necessity for “rules of engagement” from the Church – The doctrines of the Church provide a framework for what Green calls a “ruled reading,” noting the need for interpretive help. Referring to Alister McGrath, he says…
“Biblical texts, taken on their own terms and without recourse to a history or community of interpretation, are capable of supporting multiple interpretations, and it becomes clear that, even if we want to affirm that engagement with the Bible is an inexcapable quality of the Christian community, sola Scriptura can never guarantee that one is Christian. (p. 81)
Indeed, other groups were already reading the Bible and drawing different conclusions. The Gnostics are a good example of this.
This is one of the reasons that the early creeds (Nicene, Apostles) became formulated.
3. A consequence of emphasizing a “theologically fashioned” is that we read Scripture with the knowledge that we read out of a tradition. In my case, for example, having been reared in the United Methodist Church, I read the Bible from a Wesleyan perspective theologically.