February 18, 2009

Kevin Vanhoozer on the Priority of Scripture

Filed under: Theology — William Witt @ 6:37 pm

Two interesting quotes from Kevin J. Vanhoozer’s very helpful book The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical Linguistic Approach to Christian Theology. Louisvile: John Knox Westminster Press, 2005:

“We affirm that those who say that Scriptures have no authority save that which they have received from the kirk are blasphemous against God and injurious to the true kirk, which always hears and obeys the voice of her own spouse and pastor, but takes not upon her to be mistress over the same.” The Scots Confession 1560

The real theological issue at stake in the debate over the relative authority of Scripture and tradition (not that one has to take sides, only prioritize) is actually Christology. Are there postcanonical, Spirit-inspired or -illumined insights into the way of Jesus Christ that do not have the canonical testimony to Christ as their ultimate source and norm? (189)

This is one of the more important and thoughtful theological books I have read lately. More on Vanhoozer later. Meanwhile, I recommend that Evangelicals, Catholics (Anglican or otherwise), and Liberal Protestants (not likely) make reading this book a priority.

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