Monday, December 17, 2007

Swinburne (slightly) on Biblical interpretation.

Richard Swinburne was on Philosophy Talk discussing the 'Concept of God.' In responding to Perry's question concerning the problem of reconciling the Old Testament with the New Testament, Swinburne made the following response:

“If we are to interpret the bible we must interpret it as a Christian document; that is, we must interpret it with the conventions for understanding it that are part of the tradition with which it was accepted. To take the whole thing in a literal sense is, I think, contrary to the tradition of the first 1500 years of Christianity.” (20:10 -21:15)

That’s no Sola!



Blogger MG said...

Hey Derek--

Hope you don't mind my intruding on your blog. I happen to like Swinburne (even if I disagree with him on a lot of stuff) and so this post caught my eye. Are you aware that he recently converted to Eastern Orthodoxy? (which of course explains his denial of Sola Scriptura...)

2:46 AM  
Blogger Derek said...

"mg" I don't mind at all. I believe he converted to Orthodoxy back in 1998.

About the issue of Sola Scriptura. I think Swinburne is right to bring up this point: the development of the Canon of Scripture is inseparable from the History of the Church. Without the former, there would be no (supernatural, or otherwise) history of the latter. So I think this makes obligatory that the Patristics are a force to be reckoned with if anyone wished is to embark upon a mature systemization of Theology. At the same time however, I think that a mature systemization of Theology will ultimately yield a real distinction between the Theology of the Church and a Theology of the Canon. For the Church, it seems to me, can still be the Church and yet go awry in their Theology, and when they have gone awry, the only way to come back to proper Theology, is to reason on the basis of the Canon in a nearly exclusive sense. insepera

4:24 PM  

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