Archive for June 2nd, 2009

Theosis and Mission

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Following up on the previous blog, I want to note that over at The New Exodus Chuck DeGroat has a nod to my book and (more importantly) insightful words on theosis and mission (well, he calls it theosis vs. neurosis). Great stuff. Churck is a pastor, professor, and pastoral counselor/psychologist.

The Insufficiency of Theological Interpretation

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Now that I’ve got everyone’s attention, what do I mean by the claim implied in this title?

I have just come back from two+ weeks of teaching, lecturing, and preaching in Cameroon. It is a poor, underdeveloped country where school-age children seldom have school books and seminarians (at least the ones I met) NEVER have course texts, not even for their required Hebrew and Greek courses.

Two weeks is not much time, but it was sufficient to confirm for me the insufficiency of theological interpretation, at least as it is sometimes defined and practiced. It is possible for theological interpretation to get stuck in the nexus of Scripture and theology without reference to the mission of the church, or better the missio Dei. I have made similar comments before, both in academic papers and in print, but now I know why I said what I said. The experience in Cameroon made it crystal-clear to me that the truest form of theological interpretation is interpretation that operates with a missional hermeneutic.

I have spelled out what this means in embryomic form in the revised edition of Elements of Biblical Exegesis, and I will be referring to that work, to others making similar proposals, and to my Cameroonian experience in the days to come on this blog.