Saturday, 5 July 2008

Childs on Scripture/Incarnation

I'm back from my brief sojourn in the Ardennes, Belgium. Apart from illness and thunderstorms it was a pleasant retreat. I've only got a few minutes before I dash off to a birthday party so a quick quote by the illustrious Childs (pbuh) on the subtle dialectic between historical-criticism of the Bible and the Bible as a witness to God. It's things like this that make my mouth water ...

The Bible in its human, fully time-conditioned form, functions theologically for the church as a witness to God's divine revelation in Jesus Christ. The church confesses that in this human form, the Holy Spirit unlocks its truthful message to its hearers in the mystery of faith. This theological reading cannot be simply fused with a historical reconstruction of the biblical text, nor conversely, neither can it separated. This is to say, the Bible's witness to the creative and salvific activity of God in time and space cannot be encompassed within the categories of historical criticism whose approach filters out this very kerygmatic dimension of God's activity. In a word, the divine and human dimensions remain inseparably intertwined, but in a highly profound, theological manner. Its ontological relation finds its closest analogy in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, truly man and truly God. [*]
I feel like some quotes are like ripe peaches packed with health and juiciness. You just have squeeze them for a while and all manner of goodness oozes out. Or am I just weird? Does anyone know another doctrine of Scripture - or a compact summary thereof - that can produce such joy?

[*] B.S. Childs, "The Canon in Recent Biblical Studies: Reflections on an Era," Pro Ecclesia 14 (2005): 44-45


Bob MacDonald said...

Just keep it up, Phil - he clothes us with his own joy.

Phil Sumpter said...

Thanks Bob, nice way of putting it.