Today I want to blog about methodology in the theological enterprise. I have found a few links to be really challenging, refreshing and informative. I believe that we should take most of what they say to heart about method. I also really appreciated their thoughts because it caused me to examine my heart while I engage in the learning process, and I hope it will do the same for you. So without further delay . . .
Here is a great post regarding faith, doubt, certainty, and theology. I really appreciated #4. I think that it, along with Mark Twain’s quote at the end, are often an indictment on aspiring, amateur, and professional theologians.
I pray that we will have a greater awareness of our “filters” from blinding us to what others have to say. I believe that this goes beyond mere comprehension, into the realm of thinking through how this system would affect my prayer life, evangelism, and things like that. We have to enter into the system to understand it, in a sense. If we don’t do this, then we will walk away merely thinking it nonsensical or “gibberish.” We may end saying something like “I don’t even know what that means.”
Here is a wonderful post that demonstrates this blunder. The author points out the need to use imagination when examining another thinker’s work. I appreciate his point that if we don’t in a sense enter into the other thinker’s paradigm and merely examine it in light of our own presuppositions, then we probably haven’t understood his intention very well. A basic interpretative principle in Biblical interpretation is that we understand the text on the author’s terms, and not ours. It is alarming that many use it only when they come to the Bible and not another thinker’s interpretation of it.
After all that, I still must grant that sometimes things genuinely don’t make sense. Johnny Dee does a great job of addressing the “I-don’t-even-know-what-that-means” objection, and when it is necessary to employ it.