Monday, 25 August 2008

Incarnation and Childs' subtle dialectic

The dialectic is in the relationship between historical-criticism of the Bible and the Bible as witness to God. Childs explains it this way:

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 be separated. This is to say, the Bible's witness to the creative and salvific activity of God in time and space cannot be encompassed with 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.
Brevard Childs, "The Canon in Recent Biblical Studies: Reflections on an Era, " Pro Ecclesia 14 (2005): 44-45.

For the perfect compliment to these reflections, see my post on The transcendence of God and human historicity.

I should add that Hyperekperissou has made some related comments in relation to a forthcoming book review on Augustine and the Psalms.

No comments: