Daily Archives: February 6, 2007

It’s Complicated

I’m teaching my preaching class about reading the Bible for preaching tonight. I find myself in a quandary. I’m a professional biblical scholar. I’ve done the coursework; I’ve read the dead German guys; I know the classic source/form/redaction kritiks; I know the postmodern/poststructuralist/postcolonialist theories. And as a result—I go back to the Patristics and their methods of basic and advanced grammatical exegesis.

And that’s what I want to teach my students—on one hand.

On the other hand—I’m on the far side of the modern critical morass. I’ve been there/done that/used the t-shirt to clean my kitchen. I know where the dead-ends and wrong turns are for meaningful parish use. But they don’t and they’re not.

It’s one thing to poo-poo form-criticism when you know its flaws and pitfalls from the inside. It’s another entirely when you have no idea what it is to begin with…

That’s my struggle: there are real reasons to recognize the issues and purposes and benefits of the modern and postmodern projects in order to move past them. But how is that suppose to happen in under an hour?


At any rate, if I can instill some good habits and disciplines for reading the text carefully and preaching clearly I’ll call it a success.