Four Views on Moving Beyond the Bible to Theology

Ed. Gary Meadors
Contribs: Walter Kaiser Jr., Daniel Doriani, Kevin Vanhoozer, William Webb, Mark Strauss, Al Wolters, Christopher Wright

This book in the “X Views” series focuses on hermeneutics and application, essentially. The idea is about how one goes from the Bible to:
a) today
b) stuff the Bible doesn’t talk about

The four views are:
- principlizing
- redemptive history
- drama of redemption
- redemptive movement

The thing about this book is that at the end of it, I got the most out of one of the three reflections by the Reformed guy (Al Wolters) as I could spot weaknesses in all the views or the presentation of each.

Principlizing has the problems of “what actually is the final principle?”, ie. can one so easily get to the so called “abstract principle” that is universal (the reader is as culturally conditioned as the text, and so the reader’s abstract principle may not be as abstract as it seems), and the danger of going too quickly to a principle.

The Redemptive history view could have been presented better. It needed more work on expounding its view and how it’s done. Here, though, one realises that there is something in getting a principle, as per above, but now one realises that this principle really needs to be more Christological.

Vanhoozer’s drama model, well, it’s a nice metaphor. It’s a good metaphor for emphasizing the need to build character, wisdom and virtue in developing ethic from the Bible. However, how far does one push the metaphor?

The Redemptive Movement view appeals to a movement in the ethic of the Bible ahead of its contemporary rivals which then moves to some ultimate ethic. Thing is, what is this ultimate ethic? This is not specified, but is implied that current Western ethics approaches it.

After reading this, I really wished that they got Graeme Goldsworthy to write a chapter or something. You’re not really going to get much insight from this book. I realised that hermeneutics needs to be God-centric and gospel-centric. That’s why the next books I read on hermeneutics are likely to be “God-centred Biblical Interpretation” and “Gospel-centred Hermeneutics”.

Save your money, don’t buy this.

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