This fifth installment of Franke’s Character of Theology deals with the second half of chapter 4: The Task of Theology.
A brief on the second half of chp 4
Franke surveys how Scripture and tradition relate, and proposes three models (from Heiko Oberman): T1 (Scripture and tradition are indistinguishable), T2 (they are separable and equal sources of theology), and T3 (the Spirit guides the Church [not from Oberman]). Protestant Reformers set the trajectory for an abandonment of tradition (though they did not each themselves abandon tradition). Franke sees a problem for how most (T1, T2) understand the relationship of Scripture and tradition in that each is questing for a foundationalist approach; he questions this and proposes a Spirit-led authority in the Church that can be discerned (T3). His final section deals with how tradition is manifest today: essentially in the discernment of the history of theology, worship, and praxis.
The above summary says it all, and I think the points are clear enough to prevent the need from saying too much about each point.
His analysis of the ways the Church has processed the relationship of Scripture and tradition (T1, T2, T3) is worth the price of the book because this very issue is at the heart both of RC-Prot relations and at the heart of a postconservative, emerging movement theology.
Franke’s study here is essentially an understanding of Scripture as the product of two other more fundamental doctrines: Spirit (pneumatology) and Church (ecclesiology). Scripture did not create doctrines about Spirit and Church, but the Spirit inspired the Church to communicate in scripture as both its product and that to which it would listen. [Incidentally, this is why I’m less than sanguine about the word “authority” as the most significant relationship to Scripture.]
Inspiration for Franke is not just found in the Bible but in the community which the Spirit led to create the Scriptures. (I’ll be blogging a paper I gave on how to respond to people like Bart Ehrman and Elaine Pagels, in something I will happily call “Purple Polemics,” but I am quite happy with Franke’s observations both on Scripture and inspiration.)