On scripture’s role as theological authority
A. Robert Jenson
There is no mandate to reproduce all apostolic theologoumena. Indeed, they are not guaranteed to be especially felicitous; we turn to the apostolic church not for the certainly best thought-out instances of gospel-speaking but for unchallengeable instances. … apostolic reflective activity — however profoundly or superficially done — must have been the right sort of thing to be doing.
from Systematic Theology, Vol. 1 The Triune God, (OUP, 1997), 32.
B. David Kelsey
As its “authority,” scripture is “normative” for a proposal’s Christian aptness, not for its origin.
from Proving Doctrine, (Bloomsbury, 1999), 193.
C. John Webster
Scripture is not so much a source or norm of theology as its idiom.
from “Authority of Scripture,” Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible, (Baker, 2005), 724.
D. Rowan Williams
Revelation is addressed not so much to a will called upon to submit as to an imagination called upon to ‘open itself.’
from “Trinity and Revelation,” Modern Theology vol 2, no 3, (1986): 209.
The New Testament is less a set of theological conclusions than a set of generative models for how to do Christian thinking.
from On Christian Theology, Oxford, Blackwell, 2000, 22.
2 thoughts on “On scripture’s role as theological authority”
[…] A “high” doctrine of scripture as the Word of God does not, cannot, make it easier to understand the biblical texts — and hence, to enable them effectively to be authoritative — than would be the case if they were “merely” the words of men. [64, cf. Robert W. Jenson here and here] […]
[…] closer to what I imagine as theology’s canonical use of scripture here.) The first reason is this: a source model risks generating reductive and […]