Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
Reclaiming the Bible for the Church Paperback – November 17, 2000
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
In this polemical book, nine academically affiliated scholars respond to what they agree is a crisis of biblical authority that is also a crisis of interpretation and, more exactly, a struggle for control of the institutional authority to interpret Scripture. The problem, as they see it, is that historical-critical methods have come to be the province of scholars whose allegiance is to institutions other than the church. Biblical interpretation, they agree, is a theological matter, a matter of faith rather than of academic criticism. Some of their criticism aims at quite specific targets--the Jesus Seminar, Episcopal Bishop John Spong, and the recent Evangelical Lutheran Church in America statement on human sexuality. Most of it is a more diffuse, often defensive discussion of how to control the corrosive force of historical criticism. Interesting as a nonfundamentalist criticism of modern biblical scholarship, the collection may provoke useful thought on the possibility of critical space amid institutions (academic, religious, and otherwise) more inclined to be self-reproducing than to cultivate critical reflection. Steve Schroeder --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"The various chapters in this excellent book, summarised as to leading themes by editors in the introduciton, orginated as conference papers which addressed the question: can the Bible still speak to the Church in an age of critical historical awareness? It is a book which will repay careful reading by all those concerned to maintain or restore an intergral connection between Bible and Church while retaining also a personal integrity of intellect and spirit. There are eight essays in all, each addressing the central question in its own unique manner."—Colm O Baoill, University of Aberdeen, Scottish Journal of Theology (Colm O'Baoill Scottish Journal Of Theology)
"The various chapters in this excellent book, summarised as to leading themes by editors in the introduciton, orginated as conference papers which addressed the question: can the Bible still speak to the Church in an age of critical historical awareness? It is a book which will repay careful reading by all those concerned to maintain or restore an intergral connection between Bible and Church while retaining also a personal integrity of intellect and spirit. There are eight essays in all, each addressing the central question in its own unique manner."—Colm O Baoill, University of Aberdeen, Scottish Journal of Theology (Sanford Lakoff Scottish Journal Of Theology)
Top customer reviews
In my reading of the book, the given reviewer both misses that point and proves the book's point. The authors, all well respected scholars of international standing, take issue with the current trend in many seminaries and universities of approaching the scriptures from the starting point that they cannot possibly be true in any real way. This is why the previous review misses the point. The authors are not against using their brains or modern scholarship, but they ask, "What exactly is scholarship?" I would ask the reviewer if he has ever actually read what Spong or the Jesus Seminar put out. If that is honest scholarship, then the academic community is serious trouble.
Donfried's essay, along with the others, takes issue with the politicization of scriptural interpretation. Is it honest scholarship to have an agenda that clearly is not based upon the text and then to read the bias into the meaning of the text only to act surprised that, in fact, the scriptures claim Jesus was just a pale Galilean who, had he lived just a bit more, would have seen things differently? It is actually more of an act of faith to do so than to take the gospels as they have been taken throughout the ages since it requires the "scholar" to go against every notion of both common sense and acceptable exegetical methods. So much for intellectual honesty and rigor!
A note about orthodox Christian scholarship being "self-reproducing": The authors of this book take issue with the current trend, for over 20 years now, of publish or perish. That is, unless an author comes up with some very odd or controversial thesis, the paper or book will not get published and the university will start asking them, "So, where's the papers and books you need to write to keep us happy?" Ask any professor in the humanities. The temptation to write wacky articles with only shreds of documentation is very powerful. This is especially true in the religious studies departments. Unfortunately, scandal and controversy sell while orthodoxy comes across as boring "self-reproduction". It would be funny to imagine a conversation between those who say that orthodoxy is unoriginal and the early Christians who were up against the philosophical and religious trends of their time with the idea that God could actually become incarnate and die! Unoriginal? Hardly.
On a lighter note, Aidan Kavanagh's essay on the relationship between scriptural interpretation and worship is very needed and useful. Following the maxim `The rule of prayer is the rule of faith," he argues that "if the Bible needs reclaiming in the church...it must follow that the Church's worship must be reclaimed as well. To push the thesis further I suggest that liturgical dysfunction may well be a major reason for biblical dysfunction in the church" (132).
The general theme of this book, so odd and unintellectual to some, is that the Bible is actually properly understood in the context of the Church, for whom it was written. Is this so wrong? Last time I checked, St. Paul didn't write his letters to a draft committee before sending them off to Thessalonica or Philippi.
To get a good feel for the motives and Psudo-scholarship involved in the Jesus Seminar, read Johnson's "The Real Jesus". N. T. Wright has tons of good corrective material in this regard as well. For Spong enthusiasts, I suggest a reading of "Can A Bishop Be Wrong?".