Greg Boyd – Questions on the Scriptures
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Click HERE for an introductory YouTube video for Greg Boyd – Questions on the Scriptures
Click HERE for details on the Online Theological Book Club.
I’ve decided to try to type a prequel blog before each online theological book club meeting. So, here is the first. We’re going to be talking about Greg Boyd’s third section in his book Letters from a Sceptic covering questions on the bible. We should keep in mind the type of book this one is. This is not the type of book that goes into super great detail on any particular subject. While it contains theology, its main purpose is not theology. So, we don’t get a full reveal from this book alone on lots of theological topics. Through other reading of Greg’s works we can put together a more full treatment of topics. However, I will only be dealing with what I see in this text.
Greg makes mention of a few things that stand out. First, Greg, at least at this point in his life is a self-described evangelical. I’m curious to know if he still identifies in this camp. One reason for that is that already in this book he seems to be leaning away from what some would say is a test of evangelicalism (though not all would agree). He stops short of saying inerrant when describing the Bible. Instead, he uses the word infallible. He doesn’t likely feel the need to go into this with his father so it remains something that hovers in the text. Being near the end of Five Views on Inerrancy I can only speculate who Greg might resonate most with. I’m certain there are a couple he definitely does not identify with.
Another piece that stands out is the idea that scripture has a main purpose of helping people to get back to living in the image of God (salvation). Whatever disagreements we may have about a great many things, the Christian community has come to near consensus that this is the main goal of scripture and that the scriptures, in the form that we have them in, have been accomplishing that goal for centuries. Various groups, including Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants and so on, may have entirely different perspectives on how to approach the Bible, but we agree with Greg on this.
Those who know me, or have read many of my blogs know that I’m a big unity guy. Also, to me, unity won’t come by getting everyone to agree on everything. Rather, it will come some other way. One thing that will help that is brought out by inference by Greg is the need to see deeply into the reasons for our disagreements. Disagreements usually go very deep into an issue so that constant comments at the surface level won’t help. Only a big step back, looking deeply into the origins of a way of thinking will help. In this case, we can see the way the initial assumptions about the way to approach the scriptures (as the authority vs. an authority, as interpreted through various cultural lenses, or as reading through ancient lenses versus current lenses, for example) lead us into vary different places at the end of our theology. So, before we can make any progress in a discussion about the meaning of communion or baptism, for example, we would do well to address certain underlying issues first.
However, Greg wisely avoids getting too in depth on these issues in his letters. He’s familiar with his audience and knows he only needs to help with general plausibility of the metanarrative.