[A]s much as some have sought to describe the historical-critcal method as ingredient in the Reformation, and its indispensable genius, gift and fruit, this conclusion is far from clear. For the disentangling of general Renaissance and Enlightenment cultural developments from appeals to things like sola Scriptura is exceedingly fraught and requires multi-volume treatments in the history of ideas with deep learning and enormous sensitivity to the challenge to hand. As time passes, and one comes to terms with the exegesis of men like Luther and Calvin, it seems clearer that they inhabit a universe quite distinct, if not unbridgeable, from the one that historical-critical methods bequeathed us in their heyday. Indeed, what would 'the Reformers' really make of projects like dating the Yahwist, or the Q phenomenon, or even anodyne accounts of the history of Israel or the Greco-Roman milieu - areas in which we know more than the prophets or apostles themselves, for what that may be worth.
Saturday, 13 June 2009
Historical criticism and the Reformation
C. Seitz, "The Canonical Approach and Theological Interpretation," in Canon and Biblical Interpretation, 102.
For those who don't know, by the way, this is the greatest defense and clarification of Childs' approach that I know of. Get hold of it and read it again and again until you understand it!