In his forum piece in the most recent SBJT (pp. 78-80), Kevin Vanhoozer writes,
“TIS [Theological Interpretation of Scripture] holds that the most important context in which to interpret the Bible is the church.”
He later states:
“TIS acknowledges the Bible for what it is: the word of God at work in believers (1 Thess 2:13).”
“where might biblical interpretation be headed after its liberation from bondage in the academy and wandering in the desert of criticisms?”
He states in his concluding paragraph:
“It is best to view the new interest in TIS in relation to the old task of training ministers of the gospel. If TIS is to have a future, it must stop clearing its throat and preach what it is practicing. The church ultimately needs theological interpreters of Scripture in the pulpit, not just behind the lectern, though education is of course essential to this end. Pastors may well be the ones to show us the way past the debilitating dichotomy of biblical exegesis and doctrinal theology. If the chief end of biblical studies and theology is to minister understanding of God’s word, then the pastor-theologian should be evangelicalism’s default public intellectual, with preaching the preferred public mode of TIS. The health, not only of TIS but also of the church itself, depends on it.”
To these thoughts I voice a hearty amen, and I offer an attempt at Theological Interpretation of Scripture in the church for the church. Yesterday it was my privilege to preach Ezra 5-6 at Kenwood.
This passage teaches that God causes those who believe the Bible to prosper in whatever they do (even using opposition to bless his people). Do you want to be a part of a movement that will toil through difficulty across the ages and come out victorious in the end? Do you want to be part of a movement that appears to be small and insignificant but will certainly triumph? If so, you should want to be part of the church!
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On a slightly (barely) related note, is there a TIS way of understanding the new temple described in Ezekiel’s vision?
I think that the new temple is a figurative way to depict the new heaven and new earth. The temple is a microcosm. A representation of the cosmos in miniature. Thus, the new heaven and new earth will be a cosmic temple, which is what Ezek 40-48 depicts, see also Rev 21-22.
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