July 2009


The current temperature in Portland, OR = 107!!!

Way too hot!

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I just completed my oral exam for my ThM. It was one half a defense of my thesis and one half an oral exam of the coursework that I’ve done here at Western. The good news is that I was given a “pass with distinction.” Whew! I am very happy about this. My time at Western has been very beneficial but I do look forward to being able to move on to new things (and new places).

Now if I can only get this visa process figured out I’ll be set. Thanks to all who have prayed for me and listened to me complain and struggle through this process. It has been a rewarding experience!

 

Another full course that is available online is a course on Biblical Theology by Dr. Gerard van Groningen. Though van Groningen is perhaps not a widely known name, he is a good scholar probably best known for his large work, The Messianic Revelation of the Old Testament, a work that I have interacted with a little, but plan on reading more of in the future. While van Groningen is much more “traditional” (you could probably read that as conservative or fundamentalist but I think traditional is a much less pejorative term) than myself, I benefited greatly from listening to this course for several reasons:

  1. van Groningen is a model Christian scholar. Listening to him lecture is like listening to an old man reflect on a life of faith, whether you agree with him or not, he is worth listening to with respect.
  2. He does attempt to do real pan-Biblical theology that traces through all of Scripture.
  3. His view of the central theme of Scripture as Kingdom, Covenant and Mediator is an interesting and helpful perspective.

 

Thus, I commend to you, his lectures on Biblical Theology available online and on iTunes.

Dr. Gerard van Groningen – OTS215 Biblical Theology (you will need to create a username and password)

Daniel J. Treier, Introducing Theological Interpretation of Scripture: Recovering a Christian Practice (Grand Rapids, MI: BakerAcademic, 2008).

 

Daniel Treier begins his manual on theological interpretation of Scripture by tracing a brief history. Beginning with the reaction against historical criticism and the seminal work of Barth he traces the influence of Barth through his focus on the ‘subject’ of the text, the fact that  “one must enter into or participate in its meaning” and reading “with more attention and love” (p. 16). He traces briefly traces this trend through such scholars as Brevard Childs, David Kelsey, Hans Frei, George Lindbeck, Stanley Hauerwas and Francis Watson (pp. 18-20). After discussing the attempt to recover theological interpretation in the evangelical (pp. 21-25) and Roman Catholic (pp. 25-33) traditions, Treier turns to a brief examination of the ‘Postmodern turn’ (pp. 33- 36). This section functions as both a brief history of and introduction to the issues surrounding this thing called theological interpretation of Scripture.

 

Now Treier turns to the first part of his introduction to theological hermeneutics by examining three common themes held among those who claim to do theological interpretation. The first of these is the attempt to recover ancient Christian practices (ch. 1: ‘Recovering the Past’). Treier notes that there is a resurgence of those trying to recover their Christian heritage by practicing in line with historical Christianity. He identifies three practices that are used in an attempt to recover this ancient Christian practice: 1) reading as piety (pp. 41-45); 2) reading about Christ (pp. 45-51); 3) reading for Christian practice, with a special emphasis on the fourfold sense of Scripture (pp. 51-55).

 

The second chapter deals with the concern of “Reading within the Rule(s).” This chapter is about the practice of interpretation within the context of (more…)