Monday, 24 December 2012

Review of Baptist Hermeneutics in The Expository Times

Michael O'Neil, of Vose Seminary, Perth, Western Australia, has written a great review in the Expository Times of The ‘Plainly Revealed’ Word of God? Baptist  Hermeneutics in Theory and Practice

He says:

This outstanding collection of essays is the fruit of a 2009 colloquium in which a group of international scholars met in Cardiff, UK, to explore the theory and practice of Baptist hermeneutics. The book contains fifteen essays including one response and two reflection papers contributed after the conference.

The essays examine how Baptists have used and interpreted Scripture, how they have understood the nature, authority and function of Scripture, and how they might navigate the troubled waters of inevitable ‘pervasive interpretative plurality,’ especially given the traditional Baptist conviction of freedom of conscience in matters of biblical interpretation.

The essays brim with historical, theological and hermeneutical insights and portray a tradition in which Baptist exegesis is ‘rich, complicated,conflicting and conflicted … a living, evolving, self-correcting hermeneutical tradition that creates space for both an emerging consensus and dissent to that consensus’ (p. 25). As such they provide a welcome alternative to the trend in some Baptist circles, which would limit interpretative possibilities to approved confessional or doctrinal positions...

The editors, publisher and sponsoring institutions are to be commended for bringing this excellent collection to publication, and one hopes it will enjoy a wide readership, not only amongst those specialists interested in Baptist history and theology, or hermeneutics more generally, but also theological and ministerial educators, and especially amongst pastors, churches and lay leaders in hope that it may indeed contribute toward the renewal of radical, prophetic, Christ-centred and Spirit-filled congregations, not least amongst Baptists.

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