A theologian with an enormous impact but whom I’ve barely read is Hans Urs van Balthasar. In Justin Holcomb’s Christian Theologies of Scripture, the essay on Balthasar is written by a specialist, W.T. Dickens. The question he provokes is this one: Wherein lies the unity of Scripture? Is it found in witnessing to a larger systematic theology? In witnessing to a variety of witnesses to the one truth of God in the gospel? Where is it? What do you think about the unity of Scripture?
For Balthasar, to begin with, Scriptures are necessary for it is only in wrestling with Scripture that we are conformed to God in Christ. Thus, with the whole history of the Church, Balthasar finds the Scriptures to have their message in Christ. We are to engage Scriptures in a conversation in order to learn how we are to journey as God’s people in this world. We are not extract from Scripture a pure juice, but we are to read them and learn how to live in light of it.
The unity of the Scripture is found in three themes:
2. The self-revelation of the Trinitarian God.
3. The story of redemption.
Inspiration is both monergistic (God’s work on authors and in the text) and synergistic (in cooperation with humans). The Word of God is the result of a process of gestation and contemplative theological reflection. If Barth saw the Word of God in Bible, Jesus and preaching, Balthasar finds the Body of Christ in the Bible, Jesus, and the Church.
Thus the authority of Scripture is found in that it mediates the presence of God.