The question has been raised as to whether other factors predominated in the texts' formation, such as political, economic, or even morally corrupt ones. These would undermine the nature of the text as religious literature (a kind of form-critical category) for a community of faith.
This is a significant question for Childs, as his approach depends on this theological dimension being actually present in the text. He is aware that the development of the Bible was a complex process in which political, sociological and economic factors played a role. Nevertheless, it is his claim that in these factors were subordinated to a more overarching religious end. The significance of this dimension can be seen in this quote:
"... whenever modern critical theories are proposed which would call into question the integrity of Scripture's faith claims, it is certainly appropriate to mount a reasoned defense for its support. Thus, a historical critical theory of Deuteronomy which would construe the book as a pious fraud created for propaganda reasons to support the political aspirations of the Jerusalem priesthood would, if true, raise serious questions about a canonical interpretation which claimed that the book was shaped by primarily religious concerns. Similarly, if the development of a sense of canon was only a late peripheral phenomenon of the Hellenistic period, my approach to the O.T. would be seriously damaged. For this reason, I have felt constrained to mount a reasoned case why such a politicized interpretation of Deuteronomy does less than justice to the biblical text, and why the forces associated with the canonical process lie at the heart of the entire O.T." (in his "Response to Reviewers" of his Introduction; JSOT (16) 1980: 56).Here we see that for the canonical approach history matters and that the text should constrain our interpretation. Canonical readers have an vested interest in the results of historical analysis and as such cannot escape into a safe 'narrative' world untouched by real-life concerns. Judgment depends on the results of exegesis done in tandem with a good theoretical awareness of the nature of the project actually being embarked on.