Posted by: chuckbumgardner | June 14, 2016

Not just methodology

In the academy it would be regarded as scandalous nowadays to draw attention to the inner life of the exegete and its importance for biblical interpretation. Nevertheless, depth is acquired through spiritual formation, which inevitably, according to the best authorities in the Christian tradition, involves dark nights of the soul. These wounds ironically become the very points of growth and formation. Rich theological interpretation will not emerge simply from the recovery of a method of exegesis: it will require formation not only of minds, important as that is, but also of hearts. . .

Craig A. Bartholomew, Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics: A Comprehensive Framework for Hearing God in Scripture (Baker, 2015), 542.

Bartholomew is one of the strong voices promoting “theological interpretation of Scripture,” and while I question some of the tenets of TIS, I very much appreciate its emphasis on the inner life of the exegete, as reflected here. In a footnote, Bartholomew refers the reader to A. G. Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods; though written from a Roman Catholic viewpoint, Sertillanges’s volume is outstanding and thought-provoking in many ways, and I recommend it as well.

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