Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Miss Objective Facts

Here is a good quote from A. K. M. Adam based on a good quote from Augustine, followed by a mediocre question from me:

If Augustine rightly asks, “what more liberal and more fruitful provision could God have made in regard to the Sacred Scriptures than that the same words might be understood in several senses,” then the biblical theologian’s task must more appropriately involve learning how to flourish in that divine abundance than in devising conventions whose function is to attenuate the variety God provides for our wellbeing.

Donald Guthrie reads the Gospels and gets the "sense" that Jesus was not a political figure and is not a model for contemporary political engagement. John Howard Yoder reads the same Gospels and gets the "sense" that Jesus was very much a political figure, though a deeply subversive and counterintuitive one, and that imitation of this Jesus is inherently political. My question: how do we decide which one of these two readings is right/true/correct/faithful? Is there some criteria by which they can each be measured, like a ruler which can measure the length of two different objects and determine which is longer? I want to know which interpretation is longer! Er, I mean, I want to know how we can determine which makes the best sense. And yet, I want to know this without giving the historical-critical method hegemonic power which can be wielded only by the privileged and knowledgeable few. What is the way forward other than saying "Well that's your reading and this is mine"? Are hegemonies really that bad?

No comments:

Post a Comment