Zoomtard has a response to my last post on scripture here.
I would disagree when he says Wright doesn’t role-model or elaborate practical steps for applying his model to the actual text of the Bible. I would argue that Wright’s career has been marked by book after book after freaking book until there are now almost 50 in print where he interprets Scripture against the backdrop of the model he proposes.
This is a fair point although it must be said that I was really commenting about the particular article of Wright’s that I linked to, as opposed to his entire career. I do feel Wright is actively trying to be true to his hermeneutical ideas in his writings.
In response to the rest of Zoomy’s post, I think I mainly agree. The real strength of Wright’s proposal is that it shifts us away from Enlightenment-oriented ways of viewing truth, &c. It forces us to view the authority of scripture in a way divorced from ideas we’ve swallowed whole from the age of reason. In so doing it we may well learn to allow for more diversity of interpretation.
Actually, the mere realisation that our interpretation of scripture is exactly that — interpretation — should allow us to hold our views lightly and should force us to concede that true scriptural interpretation takes place only in the context of the entire body of Christ, where each person and each group shows humility with regard to the interpretations of other people and other groups. This can happen whether or not people take narrative seriously or not.
All this being said, I do think we should take narrative seriously.
I’m not really disagreeing with anyone here. You see, the only point I’m making is that before we propose any models of viewing scripture we need one vital ingredient — humility. True Christian humility should mean that — even among those who view scripture as being, ultimately, a receptacle for propositional truth — diversity will be tolerated, encouraged and viewed as necessary. Humility is not a by-product of Wright’s model, it is necessary to make it effective. I felt that Jayber and Zoomy were talking as if the ability to tolerate diversity of interpretation was a by-product of Wright’s model. I am probably wrong in reading them that way. Also — it probably is the case that even if there’s not a causal relationship, there probably still is a correlation between earnestly trying to implement Wright’s model and humbly submitting your improvisation to be changed and enhanced by the improvisations of others.
So, we all agree now, yes? Group hug?
Later in his post, Zoomy highlights the fact that really makes Wright’s proposal so exciting and interesting:
The other great thing about Wright’s framework is that Scripture does not come to us as propositional truth. Even where it does, for example in the Pauline letters, it is set within the ongoing story of the missionary journeys. An advantage for Wright is that his model does bear a closer resembelance [sic] to what Scripture actually is, which is what we’d expect from a good, decent, honest, sane Critical Realist like he is.
I think I affirmed this in my last post, but it’s good to hear it said again. Wright’s plea is that we need to take Scripture seriously in the form that it has been given to us. For too long our view of scripture (and much else besides) has been hampered by our rationalistic, modernistic enlightenment inheritances. If we truly allowed the Spirit to produce Christlike humility and ‘if our dispute was based in aesthetics instead of [enlightenment-style, reason wirshipping] dogma’ (Zoomy, interpolation mine) then things in our little corner of Christendom could be very different indeed.