Monday, June 05, 2006

One more voice

Alastair adds his argument to this issue:
The most essential training in biblical interpretation that we will receive is not that provided by a theological degree, important though that is, but the training provided by belonging to a faithful Christian community under wise and faithful pastors.

Those who have not undergone and are not undergoing the paideia of the Christian Church, living as a community of discipleship under the Word of God, have no right to interpret the Scriptures.
Pastor Rod

“Helping you become the person God created you to be”

4 comments:

nathaniel adam king said...

It appears that Alastair is attempting to say that one can only interpret Scripture when with a community?

Even from this quote it wouldn't necessarily have to be concluded that Alastair suggests that interpretation must always be done by the community, but only that the interpreter must be in a relationship with a community.

Meaning that he could be advocating that a person must be in regular communion with the body of Christ in order to interpret. Not to say they can't occasionally (regularly) go off by theirselves in solitude (daily?) to interpret the Scriptures. Only that their lives must contain some manner of relationship with other believers.

This would then mean that Alastair is not advocating that interpretation must be done as a community.

I would agree with Alastair here completely. The life of every Christian should be shared with other brothers and sisters. The Christian life is weak and anemic if there are not others there to grow with.

But again, this says nothing about whether these Christians can daily go in solitude and be alone with God and His Word, and be spoken to through the Word, alone.

Pastor Rod said...

Adam,

You read Alastair correctly (or at least the same way I do.) But there are two separate issues here, and this has led to some of our confusion.

There is the interpretation that is done "before the preaching" and there is the resolution of different ideas of what the text is saying.

For Fitch, it is essential that that resolution be done in community without the labels of ignorance and heresy.

Rod

nathaniel adam king said...

So Fitch (and yourself?) would agree with the idea that interpretation before the sermon can be done individually?

Pastor Rod said...

Adam,

There really is no way around a preacher doing interpretation. I think the point Fitch is making is that it needs to be done a) in the context of life in the Church, b) with humility, acknowledging that it is interpretation and not "the exact words of the Bible without any human philosophy," and c) without the false security of expository preaching that communicates that "this is not me speaking, but God."

It's as much about attitude as it is about method.

Rod