Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The centrality of Jesus in scripture

Am reading a book by Athol Gil called the fringes of freedom, and this paragraph explained my personal beliefs better than I ever could:

In theological terms this raises the question of the canon within the canon- if the bible is the measuring stick, or canon, by which we may examine various contemporary theologies, what is the measuring stick y which we may examine the various theologies within the bible itself? As readers of this collection of studies will readily recognize, I have sought to use the life and ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth as the measuring stick for the rest of scripture. This is the theological centre of the bible as I read it, and from this centre I seek to draw a line backwards through the Psalms and the prophets to the revelation of God in the liberation of the people of Israel from bondage in Egypt. From the life and ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus I seek to draw a line forwards through the writings of Paul, the gospels, I Peter and the book of Revelation. Jesus of Nazareth remains at the centre of theological reflection.

I have long argued that as followers of Jesus, it is Jesus that is our starting point, and from our understanding of who Jesus is, we are able to interpret the rest of scripture. He is our lens, and informs our view of scripture. We are not to take scripture and make Jesus fit into it, but rather the other way around. We can not do otherwise, it is Christ we follow.

I am really enjoying this book and will most likely be back with a few more insights.



Anonymous said...
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Jon Owen said...

Also, I have been challenged to read and interpret scripture from the sheer marginality of Jesus' position in Jewish Society.

Most of it is in a book called: What Jesus Meant by Gary Wills

Tim Jeffries said...

Yep, I'm very much in the same boat mate. Particularly as I try and reconcile some of the question around inerrancy which never seem to abate and avoid worshipping the book and not the person of Jesus.

Rebecca said...

Have you read Athol Gill before, Rev? I'm sure you've picked up that he's been pretty influential in Melbourne (at least in Baptist circles).

Tim, a blogger - I think it was Adam Cleaveland of pomomusings - wrote last year about how much he hated that song, "Ancient words, ever true, changing me and changing you..." To him it encapsulated "worshipping the book and not the person." I found this funny, because for me, that song is the best way I've ever found of capturing what I mean when I talk about the sacredness and inerrancy of scripture!! I take his point, but I still like the song, and it still says it better and more poetically than anything else I've come across...