Ok, for the final post on chapter 3 of Joel Green’s Seized by Truth, we recall that Green asserts our reading of Scripture must be…
1. Ecclesially located
2. Theologically fashioned
3. Critically engaged
So, we now turn to this final resource: “Spirit-imbued.” The Holy Spirit’s role in the “generation, canonization… transmission” and “interpretation” of biblical texts is a common claim, but “how the Holy Spirit is thus involved is less easy to articulate” (p. 94).
Green makes four claims:
1. “To invite the Holy Spirit into the interpretive process is to deny our autonomy as readers of Scripture and to affirm our dependence on the Spirit and on the community of God’s people generated by the Spirit” (p. 94). This denial of autonomy cuts against the grain of Western culture’s view of the self, the essential dignity of which is bound up in “self-sufficiency and self-determination,” “self-autonomy and self-legislation” (p. 95).
2. “As the Holy Spirit is the divine agent of sanctification, so the Spirit is at work in shaping us for reading the Bible as Scripture, that is, with dispositions and posture of invitation, openness, and availability” (p. 96).
3. “As the Spirit of Christ was active in the generation of Scripture, so, in our actualization of the Scriptures, the Spirit points us to Christ” (p. 97).
4. “The Spirit forms us as and within an interpretive community–the people of God continuous throgh history and across the globe” (p. 98). This reminds us that there is no such thing as an individualized reading of Scripture. Further, it brings in a concern for readings of Scripture that are informed by the ancient creeds of the Church and in conversation with the Church–across cultures and across history.
Throughout the whole of chapter 3, Green offers a vision of interpretive sensibilities that finds ourselves shifting away from the model of the Bible as “foundation” (that is, of our theology, of our church life, etc) and toward a model of the Bible as “center” (with our theology, church life, etc, emanating from the texts). (see page 100) In the former image, the Bible is the key building block of the construction project; in the latter, the Bible is the pulsing heart of the organism.