May 20, 2010

Challenges of Theological Interpretation in the Gospels

I recently posted on a quote from Timothy Wiarda on how to find theological themes in the Gospels. Wiarda goes on to address three concerns that some interpreters have about this exercise. (1) “Some fear that the formative power of these narratives will be compromised.” The idea seems to be that there is the potential that the power inherent in the story itself will be tempered by reducing it to a theological principle. (2) Some wonder whether one can properly draw theological principles for the post Easter church from pre-Easter historical descriptions. (3) Some have concerns at a theoretical level, namely that, “Theological concepts, which express universal principles in propositional form, belong to one order of discourse, while the concrete, history-rooted narratives of Scripture belong to another. How would you address these concerns?

Timothy Wiarda's new book Interpreting Gospel Narratives: Scenes, People, and Theology (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2010), 85–6, 88–9.

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