For me there are important points to note about the nature of science and scripture. Both have their limitations, defined by the set of things under their purview. Scripture provides a holistic, historically situated, theological worldview. Though it does address physical reality in very important ways, its purpose is not to give a comprehensive account of all reality, much less physical reality. Science on the other hand is the best avenue available for people to explore the nature of physical reality. It is a set of particular methodological and social practices, undergirded by certain philosophical presuppositions, for rationally investigating strictly physical phenomena. As potent as science is, it is a very particular bandwidth of knowledge that touches on a very limited aspect of the human experience. Science is very good at doing what it’s made to do but beyond that it’s not much help. Scripture is quite similar in that regard. Continue reading “Scripture and Science: An Accord (part 2)”
Surveying the Options
Science has completely changed the world. As modern people it is hard to imagine things without the influence of science. Ever since I was a child I have loved science and as an adult I have been professionally trained in it. Even though I have been a Christian for as long as I can remember my passion for scripture came relatively late while I was I an adolescent. Being both things I enjoy and have profoundly shaped my world, I find very interesting the conversation that occurs when they cross paths.
There are different approaches to the relationship between science and scripture or Christian theology in general but they fall into three broad categories. Continue reading “Scripture and Science: An Accord (part 1)”
(Or Theology after Paul Ricoeur)
The name of influential French 20th century philosopher Paul Ricoeur has repeatedly cropped up in my various readings. I therefore decided to look him up and his wide ranging insights have been very productive for me. In the following Homebrewed Christianity podcast episode, Ricoeur’s work is introduced as well as his contribution and influence on contemporary theology, my particular area of interest, are discussed. Continue reading “A Philosophy of Hermeneutics”
You can now download and read the full presidential address by Professor Carol Meyers on patriarchy in the Bible in the post Is The Bible Patriarchal?
About 3 years ago I read Jesus and the Eyewitnesses by Richard Bauckham which got me interested in biblical literacy. He talked about how oral cultures preserve and transmit tradition. Even though in the ancient world literacy rates were extremely low (not more than 10% according to most scholars but it is very hard to determine) they could be very familiar with texts. This phenomenon is known as textuality. A text could be publicly read and repeated so many times that those who are illiterate actually know the text very well even though they have never read it. It’s like a popular film you have never watched but because it’s so much a part of pop culture, being referenced and alluded to in many different ways, you already know the story without having actually seen it. What really inspired me about Bauckham’s work is that no matter how educated you are, everyone can be taught scripture to a very sophisticated level. Looking at how great the challenges were in the 1st century, biblical literacy still happened which means for the post-Gutenberg, social media generation, we really do not have an excuse. Continue reading “A Crisis of Biblical Proportions”
In this fascinating interview at OnScript, Dr Dru Johnson discusses his book Knowledge by Ritual (Eisenbrauns, 2016) where he explorers the Bible’s epistemology in the light of modern scholarship on the way rituals work. Continue reading “Ritualed Knowing”
Sacra scriptura sui ipsius interpres: sacred scripture is its own interpreter. This statement in Latin is one of the fundamental ideas of the Protestant Reformation but it is usually under-examined and simply seen as a corollary of the belief that scripture alone (sola scriptura in Latin, one of the 5 solas i.e. fundamental principles of Protestantism) is the rule of faith and practice for the Christian. Being the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, it is quite apt we take a closer look at this particular doctrine as we have been doing for some of the other prominent Reformation ideas. Biblical scholar David Starling argues that scripture interpreting itself means more than using easier passages to interpret more difficult ones. Continue reading “Understudying the Word”