Thoughts on Christocentric Interpretation

Geoff ChapmanThinking Out Loud0 Comments

If biblical theologians are to avoid the charge of foundationalism without falling into the circularity inherent in the argument for christocentric interpretation of Scripture then we must search for an irreducible minimum to which the catholic Church may appeal.  Such is found in Christ himself, not only as revealed in Scripture but as encountered in the life of faith.  If Christ is himself the lens through which all other revelation must be interpreted and with which it must be held in tension then we must be looking through Christ as we look at revelation in Scripture and Creation.  But this means far more than extracting a “red-letter” interpretive framework, weighting parts of Scriptural revelation with more cogency than others simply because they contain the words of Christ, or about Christ, or related to Christ indirectly,  – Indeed, where should one stop?  This is precisely the problem with this approach! – this is to split God’s revelation in Christ,who is the Alpha and Omega, into an indecipherable alphabet.  No, if we are to look through Christ the only way is to be in Christ.  Rather than Christocentric we must be Christo-participatory, in union with him as we interpret Scripture.   This means, in short, that if we are to interpret his revelation correctly, then we must be united to him in faith.  This means that obedience to Christ is both the foundation and the tap-root of understanding Scripture, a thought which commends itself to church history, to Scripture and to common sense.

 

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