(Say the Jesus Creed morning and evening during Lent.)
Anthony Thiselton’s new book, Hermeneutics of Doctrine, written for experts, continues a list of seminal, profound, penetrating, if not esoteric at times, writings on hermeneutics. In this book, Thiselton applies his mastery of hermeneutics to doctrine.
You can link here to see Thiselton’s books.
He examines a variety of topics through the lens of hermeneutics in this book — including the hermeneutics of creation, image of God, sin, cross, work of Christ, atonement, Holy Spirit, Trinity, church and ministry, word and sacraments, and eschatology.
We won’t be blogging through this book, mostly because I’m not sure how to do it … and how many of us would want to engage this tome on hermeneutics is probably limited. So, here are some highlights for me:
1. A clarification of how seeing belief as “dispositional” instead of just “mental” opens up both passages in the Bible (say 1 John or Jonah) and how we have sought to explain what it means to “confess” Christian faith. Disposition deals with the expectations of confession and behaviors “if” one genuinely does believe.
2. An emphasis on doctrine finding shape only in community.
3. That doctrine is formational and not just informational. This is the big impact of this book … and again everything by Thiselton is thick and brilliant.
4. He complains way too often about American theology. There should be more appreciation of cultural difference and that his own context is shaping that complaint; in addition, his reduction of American theology to pragmatism or to simple alternatives is itself a reductionism, not the least because it’s also found over on his side of the water.