Non-sermon related reading has fallen off the grid the last few months. I feel like I’ve been reading this book for the better part of 6 months. Not quite, but I have finally finished Graeme Goldsworthy’s Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics: Foundations and Principles of Evangelical Biblical Interpretation. I already reviewed the first 2 sections which dealt with the basics of interpretation and his argument for a gospel-centered hermeneutic, and how various methods of Bible interpretation have eclipsed the gospel throughout church history.
The final section, Reconstructing Evangelical Hermeneutics, was the most difficult for me to read. At times he covered areas of philosophy with which I was unfamilar. So, I was occasionally thinking ‘huh?” (particularly speech-act theory). But it was still profitable at times, just not as profitable as the previous 2 sections.
Among the areas that were helpful were his discussion of typology, and Dr. John Currid’s criteria for true typology. This criteria is affirmed by Keller & Clowney in the DMin course available through RTS on I-Tunes. He was also helpful in discussion contexting (his simpler term for contextualization). The missionary mandate, as he argues, mandates this. He also includes a chapter on the interaction and relationship between biblical and systematic theology. He talks a great deal about how both Calvin and Luther viewed Bible interpretation, and the role of the Spirit (particularly Calvin on this front)
His Epilogue contains a few good quotes to sum all this up:
Hermeneutics is about reading God’s word with understanding so taht we might be conformed more and more to the image of Christ.
The purpose of God’s word is to bring us to God through the salvation that is in Christ. It does this by revealing his plan and purpose, by conforming us more and more to the image of Christ, and by providing the shape of the presence of God with his people through the Spirit of Christ.
So, pastors and those who regularly teach God’s people should find Goldsworthy’s book helpful as we seek to fulfill our calling. As the ancient children’s song says, “take up and read.”