Monday, December 14, 2015

Reflection for the Week - December 14

I find that in some Christian circles there is often a critique of those who are said to be biased and to have a personal theological agenda. It goes something like this. “They merely promote cultural influences, not the biblical text. Their interpretations are subjective.” But then comes the clincher – “let me tell you explicitly what the biblical text ‘actually’ says from an objective point of view.” So, no bias, influence, and agenda here? Thus, in these circles ‘critique’ never starts at home. Another way of putting this: there’s a hermeneutics of suspicion in play as it should be, yet it’s only targeted towards others, never towards oneself. It would be preferable to say, “I realize I (not just others) have biases, an agenda, and am influenced by culture. I work hard to be aware of how these might be negatives and to guard against that, but there will be implications for my own perspectives. I’ll, therefore, put forward my view as what I think might be a better interpretation of the text, though I’m open to new insights or valid criticisms.”