Wednesday, June 01, 2011

McKnight on Wright on Scripture

Here's the link:


JRS said...

And your take is . . .

Ken Schenck said...

I had two impressions after a quick skim of McKnight's summary:

1. Yeah, we tend to start off with a very simple model of the Bible as revelation. Then the more we study it the more clarifications we have to make, things like:

a. inerrant in terms of what it affirms, but what is God affirming in a particular passage? (in other words, inerrant language often unreflectively assumes that everyone agrees what God's point is or that God's point is always on a particular level of literality)

b. The word "inerrant" mostly relates to the conveyance of truth, but the Bible does a whole lot more than that. E.g., imprecatory psalms express human anger--what would it mean to say Ps. 137 is inerrant? The term hardly even makes sense in relation to this genre.

c. Inerrant has to take into account where the book is in the flow of revelation (e.g., passages in the OT that deny a meaningful afterlife)--inerrant in terms of what God was saying to a particular audience starting with where they were at in their categories.

So the term inerrant often becomes very vague as to what exactly it is saying when you get into the details.

2. N.T. Wright has a different personality from mine. It's not that I'm not poetic. He just goes abstract a whole lot more than I do. ;-)

JRS said...

So would you say Wright appeals to our imagination?

I tend to like the appeal to imagination; it seems to delimit God.

At the same time, might an appeal to imagination step beyond the boundaries God sets? Imaginations can, and do, run wild!

Robert said...

Is 'inerrant' a useful term at all if it has to be so hedged around by 'clarifications'? I agree the term becomes meaningless in the context of bashing babies' heads in, but then how do we choose the passages it does apply to?