Exegesis and Systematics and Church

from N.T. Wright’s Justification, which I’m currently working my way through:

“But the present debate about Paul and justification is taking place between people most of whom declare their allegiance to Scripture in general, and perhaps to Paul in particular, as the place where and the means by which the living God has spoken, and still speaks, with life-changing authority. This ought to mean, but does not always mean, that exegesis–close attention to the actual flow of the text, to the questions that it raises in itself and the answers it gives in and of itself–should remain the beginning and the end of the process. Systematize all you want in between–we all do it; there is noting wrong with it and much to be said for it, particularly when it involves careful comparing of different treatments of similar topics in different contexts.  But start with exegesis, and remind yourself that the end in view is not a tidy system, sitting in hard covers on a shelf where one may look up “correct answers,” but the sermon or the shared pastoral reading, or the scriptural word to a Synod or other formal church gathering, or indeed the life of witness to the love of God, through all of which the church is built up and energized for mission, the Christian is challenged, transformed and nurtured in the faith, and the unbeliever is confronted with the shocking but joyful news that the crucified and risen Jesus is the Lord of the world.  That is letting Scripture be Scripture.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: