The third decisive influence [on my approach] is the biblical work of Brevard S. Childs. I attended Yale Divinty School primarily in order to learn directly from Childs, and my eager expectation was met by an even greater reality. It is now clear that the work of Childs on canon amounts to nothing less than a brilliant new vision of scripture without parallel in the history of the church, though deeply rooted in the church's tradition of reading scripture. Every theologian worthy of the name has turned directly to scripture as the one source for the knowledge of God. Where else does the church learn to know Jesus Christ? However, never before has the church been closer to the shape and subject matter of scripture than in Childs's work on canon. The confession of canon was the first and foundational creedal affirmation of the ancient church; yet not until Childs's work have the full implications of that confession been so crystal clear and inviting for reflection. Once again, a new era has begun. Theology can never again go back behind Childs when it wrestles with scripture, nor can it count as genuine Christian theology unless it sees with precision the full force of the vision he articulates. The future of dogmatic theology lies with realizing the connection of the discipline with the Bible, and that connection depends upon a firm theological grasp of the issue of canon. The confession of canon is an ontological necessity for dogmatic inquiry and the proper beginning of all valid theological reflection (14-15).So, how do people feel about that?
Monday, 4 October 2010
The significance of B.S. Childs?
Seitz's comments come close. Recently, however, I read a eulogy that tops anything I have said on this blog. In fact, the praises are so high I'm left wondering whether I can fully agree with them. Perhaps my lack a full breadth of knowledge of the field disqualifies me from being able to make an informed judgement, but based on my experience to date I do think I can identify with McGlasson's sentiments. The following is taken from the preface to his Invitation to Dogmatic Theology: