An Explanation and Evaluation of the Theological Interpretation of Scripture

Last year, our Systematic Theology Colloquium at SBTS discussed the growing movement among evangelical scholars called Theological Interpretation of Scripture (TIS).  Since our class was comprised of students committed to the full inerrancy of Scripture, it was skeptical because of  the movement’s uncertain Scriptural foundation. You can see my evaluation here.

This summer in a far more comprehensive fashion, the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology (SBJT) published a series of articles explaining and evaluating TIS.  Online you can find Steve Wellum’s introductory editorial where he raises a number of questions that must be answered concerning TIS.  In his introduction he describes TIS “as a broad and diverse movement comprised of biblical scholars and theologians who are mainline Protestants, Roman Catholics, and evangelicals and who are attempting to recover the authority of the Bible and to return it to the church. Obviously this raises the question as to what TIS is recovering the Bible from and the answer to this question helps describe why it has arisen.”

He notes that “a majority of those in the TIS movement arise out of non-evangelical circles since, like Karl Barth before them (who is often viewed as the “founder” of the movement), they are attempting to recover the Bible’s voice by rejecting the liberalism they were taught and raised in.”  With such ambiguity on the Bible, it raises questions (for me at least) as to how long this movement can last without an agreement on Scripture, or how long “evangelical” pastor-scholars, who affirm inerrancy, can remain in their circles.

As this movement is having increasing impact in scholarship (which always trickles down to the church) and is attracting many evangelicals (e.g. Kevin Vanhoozer, Daniel Treier, Jonathan Pennington), its develop should be watched and analyzed.

If you are interested in tracking down the journal, here is what you will find.

Editorial: Stephen J. Wellum, “Reflecting upon the ‘Theological Interpretation of Scripture‘”

Daniel J. Treier and Uche Anizor, “Theological Interpretation of Scripture and Evangelical Systematic Theology: Iron Sharpening Iron?”

Stephen Dempster, “‘A Light in a Dark Place’: A Tale of Two Kings and Theological Interpretation of the Old Testament”

Gregg R. Allison, “Theological Interpretation of Scripture: An Introduction and Preliminary Evaluation”

Keith Goad, “Gregory as a Model of Theological Interpretation”

Robert L. Plummer, “Righteousness and Peace Kiss: The Reconciliation of Authorial Intent and Biblical Typology”

James M. Hamilton Jr., “John Sailhamer’s The Meaning of the Pentateuch: A Review Essay”

Soli Deo Gloria, dss