Chapter One – Z’a MOVING FROM BIBLE TO THEOLOGY October 8, 2009

I was pleased to have gotten in the mail my copy of Zondervan’s Moving Beyond the Bible to Theology in the COUNTERPOINTS series (eds. S. Gundry and G.T. Meadors).  I eagerly read the first chapter.  Essentially, the book deals with how we go from the contextualized comments, stories, laws, and commands in the Bible to the proper theology and ethics for our own context and time.

In the Introduction, Meadors offers the rationale for the volume and an overview of three levels of teaching in the Bible:

1. Direct teaching – directly applicable

2. Implied teaching – from stories, and relevant (though not direct) situations

3. Creative constructs – from the totality of the biblical revelation.

The views in this book will take various approaches to combining and interpreting these levels (I assume).

Two other things worthy of note, based on the intro.

1. ‘Counterpoint series volumes usually provide views that have become rather fixed representatives on a given subject.  This volume, however, is providing an entree into a subject that is currently emerging.’ (p. 14 note 5).

2. The original title of the book was something like ‘Beyond the Sacred Page’ which, though poetically pleasing, was probably not the best option for clarity of topic on first glance.  Thus, I think that they chose wisely in going with a more transparent title.  Personally (and this is me and not Meadors talking), I think ‘Moving Beyond….’ is quite risky and they might have just said ‘From Bible to Theology’.  The ‘Beyond’ unnecessarily makes it seem like one must get away from the Bible to do theology.  That is certainly not what Z intended, but once one cracks the book, their good intentions and appropriate attitude towards the topic is lucid.

Again, I am excited to get into the various chapters and follow the debate.  I will certainly try to keep you posted on my thoughts.  If you teach hermeneutics of any kind (related to the Bible, of course!), you might want to peek at this one at SBL.

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