The Balance of Scripture

When faced with an unbiblical, or even anti-Christian, emphasis in the world around us, the church is sometimes tempted simply to move in the opposite direction. But that runs the danger of adopting an equally unbiblical approach. The church needs to be guided by Scripture. And she needs to reflect the balance of the Word of God.

In 1988 the General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church received a committee report on “Women in Office.” Although a basic question that the committee was asked to study involved the qualifications for holding ordained office in the church, the report explores foundational teaching of the Word regarding the relationship of men and women. 30+ years down the road a few of the the questions the church faces have changed — somewhat. The principles of the Word remain unchanged, however.

Because the report strives to be faithful to Scripture, reflecting its balance, I find it still to be a very helpful resource. Near the beginning of the report, introducing a section on Foundational Considerations, is a helpful, balanced, reminder

Because the report strives to be faithful to Scripture, reflecting its balance, I find it still to be a very help resource. Near the beginning of the report, introducing a section on Foundational Considerations, is a helpful, balanced, reminder:

“Care must be taken in applying sound hermeneutical principles to the subject of women and church office such that the church does not adopt extracanonical norms for Christian conduct and take patterns from modern society and use them to control the interpretation of Scripture. The Bible is God’s complete and final revelation to man and in its light all disputes ought to be settled (WCF l:X.). In considering the question of women in office we need to be especially careful not to yield to the Zeitgeist of either feminism or male chauvinism which dominate our humanistic age.”

One reader’s impression of Biblical Hermeneutics: Five Views

A few weeks ago on a week of (mostly) vacation I found time to finish reading this book, which arrived in early June. The publisher’s description is:

Publisher’s Description: In recent decades biblical hermeneutics has been an ever-expanding field of thought and research, with new viewpoints unfolding and debated. The views selected for this volume cohere with a broad center of orthodox interpretation of Scripture. But while they share a common ground and a collection of common tools, their distinctive emphases are at points profound.
In Biblical Hermeneutics: Five Views five proponents of differing hermeneutical approaches each describe their approach to interpreting Scripture, put it to work on Matthew 2:13-15, and respond to their dialogue partners. The discussion is introduced and concluded by the editors.

The five views and their essayists are:

Historical-Critical/Grammatical, Craig Blomberg
Literary/Postmodern, F. Scott Spencer
Philosophical/Theological, Merold Westphal
Redemptive-Historical, Richard B. Gaffin Jr.
Canonical, Robert W. Wall

Anyone interested in the ongoing quest to responsibly interpret Christian Scripture for the church will find this a wonderfully informative and constructive dialogue.

224 Pages
Published June 2012

As you gather from above, each author presented his view, then each has a chapter responding to the others, focusing on Matthew 2:13-15 and its use of Hosea 11:1. Given the composition of this forward list, it will come as no surprise that it was the identity of the author of the Redemptive-Historical view that prompted me to purchase and read. I have read his two chapters carefully Continue reading