Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Determining biblical (a personal non specialist perspective)

Let me just state that being 'biblically faithful' in weighing matters of the bible is not an easy task. There are many ambiguities for us to deal with. But that said it is not impossible either. (Acts 17:10-11)

We have numerous voices telling us, 'this position is faithful to scripture over that other view'. The question that I posed in a post I wrote last week was how we determine what is biblical with all these different theological position? You can see the post here entitled Biblical... how would you determine being biblical?

For me, I would read widely as possible and try my best to hear the different authors take on a certain issue, with these questions in mind…

  1. How they articulate their positions
  2. How they present their biblical facts (faithful to the cultural context of the passage, taking the text in its context, their 'method' of interpretation)
  3. How much each author reads their tradition into the text (there are authors who do this quite often, let's just say that we all suffer from this, specialist or the non specialist)
  4. How each author's conclusions imply on how we live (the matter of application is important)

It would also be helpful for us to read some stuff on the issues that each author is talking/ writing about; a good dictionary for that matter or the internet (the endless sea of information at the tip of your fingertips).

After reading these positions (with some clarity) the next thing we have to determine is how their positions walk in line with the voice of scripture. This is where our own study is articulated (mine that is). This would be the painstaking task that we would have to undergo. There is no short cut to it.

It is at this process that I would have to weigh based on scripture (on my own), wrestling with the author's ideas, wrestling with my own inclination to an ascribed tradition, and wrestling with scripture and God's voice speaking on all the issues at hand. One of the things that has to be articulated somewhere in the pattern that I am explaining is 'what is its implication towards how we live life?'.

Well, in all of this, I am not proposing a methodology of determining what is biblical. I'm just trying to articulate some form of pattern that has been helpful to me in my readings.

What do you think? Are there any more patterns you can conjure?

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Hopeful Theo

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OIL TOWN, SWK, Malaysia
I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations