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1.  Millard Erickson, Evangelical Interpretation: Perspectives on Hermeneutical Issues (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1993), 56.

2.  Daniel L. Migliore, Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991), 211, 179. I sensed such a fear in the symposium entitled "The Future of Evangelical Theology," by Roger E. Olson (Christianity Today February 9, 1998, pp. 40-50), when Timothy George expressed the conviction that a theologian who questions tradition and projects a new model is a self-seeker, not a servant of the church. Evangelicals may have difficulty with the call to be timely and crucial in the task of interpretation.

3.  Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can=t Wait (New York: Harper & Row, 1964). On cruciality as a test of theological faithfulness, see Christopher Morse, Not Every Spirit: A Dogmatics of Christian Disbelief (Valley Forge, Pa.: Trinity Press International, 1994), 65-66.

4.  Has not theology always been contextual and correlational and sought to be timely? In the Bible itself, themes are interpreted in different contexts and cultures, creating the diversity we are all familiar with. The early church fathers also sought to make sense of the faith in terms of culture and Thomas used the works of Aristotle as material for a synthesis of Christian doctrine, etc. Evangelicals are often warned about the dangers or giving context a voice but Harvie Conn warns against not doing our theology contextually: Westminster Theological Journal 52 (1990) 51-63. This is a theme of Stephen B. Evans, Models of Contextual Theology (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1992), ch. 1.

5.  N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992), 140-43.

6.  Daniel L. Migliore, Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991), 51.

7.  Wolfhart Pannenberg, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991) I.16, 55-58.

8.  On the liberty taken in the fulfilment of Old Testament promises, see Stephen Travis, I Believe in the Second Coming of Christ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982), 135-43 and James DeYoung and Sarah Hurty, Beyond the Obvious: Discover the Deeper Meaning of Scripture (Gresham, Oregon: Vision House, 1995). Also Clark H. Pinnock, Flame of Love (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 223-27.

9.  Alister McGrath calls attention to the centrality of story in the Bible and the evangelical neglect of it: A Passion for Truth: The Intellectual Coherence of Evangelicalism (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 105-116. Along the same lines, see Richard Bauckham, "Scripture and Authority" Transformation (April 1988) pp. 5-11. Neglecting it results in a rationalistic type of hermeneutics.

10.  See Nicholas Wolterstorff, Divine Discourse: Philosophical Reflections on the Claim That God Speaks (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).

11.  I am thinking of the kinds of diversity presented by John Goldingay, Theological Diversity and the Authority of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987) and by James D. G. Dunn, Unity and Diversity in the New Testament (London: SCM Press, 1977).

12.  Richard N. Longnecker, New Testament Social Ethics for Today (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984), 14f., 26-28.

13.  I am in agreement with Millard Erickson in relation to Walter Kaiser in Evangelical Interpretation, ch. 1.

14.  Roger Stronstad discusses Spirit-oriented pentecostal hermeneutics: Spirit, Scripture and Theology: A Pentecostal Perspective (Baguio City, Philippines: Asia Pacific Theological Seminary Press, 1995).

15.  Donald G. Bloesch, Holy Scripture: Revelation, Inspiration and Interpretation (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 172. Unfortunately, the boldness of his views expressed here is not accompanied by specific examples of how it works out in practice. I do not see much evidence of him actually operating on the basis of such a view in his work.

16.  Erickson opposes the hermeneutical rationalism he sees in Kaiser and Fuller (Evangelical Interpretation ch. 1-2). See also DeYoung and Hurty, Beyond the Obvious, ch. 6; Bloesch, Holy Scripture, ch. 6; Clark H. Pinnock, "The Work of the Holy Spirit in Hermeneutics," Journal of Pentecostal Theology 2 (1993) 3-23; AThe Role of the Spirit in Interpretation,@ Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 36 (1993) 491-97; and The Scripture Principle, ch. 9. On this subject, I expect the Pentecostal scholars to help us out.

17.  See Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, The Role of the Holy Spirit in Biblical Interpretation: A Study in the Writings of James I. Packer (PhD Dissertation, Andrews University, 1998). One of the few modern social challenges that Erickson commented on was the consumption of alcoholic beverages (Evangelical Interpretation, 75-76). Ironically, he was forced to admit that he arrived at his position from extra-biblical influences, not from Scripture.

18.  Post-liberal theology and the Yale School is strong on the importance of a communal reading of the text and a corporate discernment of its meaning. See also Simon Chan, Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1998), 208-210.

19.  This is the theme of Jean-Luc Marion, God Without Being: Hors Texte (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991) and McGrath in Passion for Truth, 112f.

20.  In addition to Richard N. Longnecker, New Testament Social Ethics for Today, ch. 4, see Willard M. Swartley, Slavery, Sabbath, War and Women (Scottdale, Pa: Herald Press, 1983), ch. 1.

21.  See Francis A. Sullivan, Salvation Outside the Church? Tracing the History of the Catholic Response (New York: Paulist Press, 1992) 199-204 and Richard H. Drummond, Toward a New Age in Christian Theology (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1985). John Sanders documents the rise of wider hope thinking among evangelicals in No Other Name: An Investigation into the Destiny of the Unevangelized (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992).

22.  Chan (for example) does not see the relevance of the Latin model for Asia: Spiritual Theology, 32.

23.  See, for example, H. Paul Santmire, The Travail of Nature: The Ambiguous Ecological Promise of Christian Theology (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985) and Jurgen Moltmann, "Ecology of the Creative Spirit," The Source of Life: The Holy Spirit and the Theology of Life (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1997), 111-24.

24.  A point made by Roger Nicole in Women, Authority and the Bible, ed. Alvera Mickelsen (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1986), 47.

25.  Richard N. Longenecker, New Testament Social Ethics for Today, ch. 5; and Willard M. Swartley, Slavery, Sabbath, War and Women, ch. 4.

26.  Chan, Spiritual Theology, 31.

27.  Jon Ruthven lays out the exegetical issues forcefully: On the Cessation of the Charismata: The Protestant Polemic on Postbiblical Miracles (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993).

28.  John Sanders' doctoral thesis will help foster this discussion: The God Who Risks: A Theology of Providence (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1998).

29.  Donald G. Bloesch, A Theology of Word and Spirit: Authority and Method in Theology (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1992), ch. 9.


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