Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
March 29th, 2016 by Joel Watts

Dr David Watson on “the whole canon of Scripture”

What are your thoughts?

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Comments

12 Responses to “Dr David Watson on “the whole canon of Scripture””
  1. I don’t know. But his book is at my local library. Will check it out next time I’m there.

  2. How is “the passage in bucket X is more weighty than the passage in bucket Y” different from Hamilton’s explanation?

    • Because we have the New Testament which even Jesus says… “Moses said this, but I say this…” All Scripture is inspired, but not all Scripture is still in effect. I mean, unless you’re going to sacrifice goats.

      • The more interesting question, how does Paul’s bucket differ from Jesus’ bucket? Or is there any difference? Or are there multiple Paul’s buckets (of the real Paul)? Or are there Paul’s buckets and multiple Pseudo-Paul’s buckets? And how about the Pope’s buckets of interpretation? Or Wesley’s buckets? Everyone’s got buckets. Everyone’s got headaches, including me.

        • Gary, we can’t separate Jesus from Paul, given that the NT we have (and even some of the NT apocrypha) is directly influenced by Paul. Paul wouldn’t use a bucket. Rather, he would insist that we understand the OT through the lens of Jesus. What Christ did transformed the OT (not that he had an OT in mind) into something new (not different). It fulfilled, brought to completion (not end) the OT.

          Wesley would suggest we interpret Scripture first, by Scripture, second by Tradition, third by Reason and always relying on our experience as Christians. So, again, no buckets.

          Hamilton is the first one to use the term buckets (that I know of) and it really disjoints the entire conversation

          • I’ll take you word for it. Although I intend to read the book when I get a chance. Lens, bucket, horoscope. Btw, checking the Internet intro of Hamilton’s book, I think he might have more in common with my beliefs, horror of horror.

  3. “Making sense of the Bible”, Adam Hamilton, 337 pages, 32 chapters total.

    Just got it. Haven’t had a chance to read it yet. But on a quick scan, it looks very interesting. Correct me if I am wrong, since it was a quick scan, but based on the video, I thought the “Bucket” premise was an integral foundation of the entire book. No so. Much ado about nothing!

    Many subjects covered; who wrote the bible, inerrancy, science, suffering, women, tattoos, Revelation, etc..

    Chapter 29, “Homosexuality and the Bible” (pages 265 through 297 – a total of 32 pages out of a total of 337 in the book).

    “Bucket” analogy only used in this one chapter, and only on pages 273 to 279 (a total of 7 pages). So maybe 2% of the book.

    So…. Bucket is not an overriding, fundamental principle discussed in the book. I am looking forward to reading it.

    • I dunno, Gary. I think the bucket thing becomes a focus… and helps to reframe the entire book.

      • It seems to address the academic side of scripture in an easy to understand read. While apologetics might find more fault with it in many other areas. I would guess that the bucket thing only gets special attention with people that think a bucket contains something they don’t like…either liberal or conservative.

  4. The problem is what criteria is left to sort which Scripture goes into what Bucket? My own sensibility and conscience? My preference? My understanding of the spiritual world? I need Scripture and tradition to help me reign in my carnality when I privilege those texts that challenge my life, otherwise I’ll rationalize them away and miss the intent of the passage.

  5. George Plasterer says

    I like what Watson has done here. We are to take all Scripture seriously, since it is our canon or rule of faith. Wise reading, however, as always led people to reflect upon the importance given to particular passages. As I have aged, I become increasingly aware that it is not just a matter of my conscience involved. Rather, I read, preach, and teach, with an eye to the rest of Scripture, with an eye to Tradition as embodied mostly in its councils and creeds, with an eye to the rest of the church globally, and weighing these things in a discerning and reasonable way. The allegorical reading of Scripture in the early church was another way of arriving at the same thing. For me, then, I focus on the witness of Scripture to the saving action of God (In the Old Testament, its witness to liberation from bondage and its witness to preservation of the people of God in exile, while in the New its kerygmatic summary of saving action in Christ), its testimony to the importance of a turn toward that saving action in faith, and its witness to the transformed life such faith will expect from us. My many Bible studies over the years have included me saying things like, “Are we not glad that Jesus came to clarify” a certain matter. I have had to say that just because something is in the Bible does not mean God endorsed it. And of course, the New Testament does, as pointed out above, interpret the Old Testament in light of the new saving action of God in Jesus Christ. In any case, thank you for posting.

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