Browsing by Subject "dogmatiikka"

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  • Chen, Xun (Peter Lang, 2009)
    Modern Christian theology has been at pain with the schism between the Bible and theology, and between biblical studies and systematic theology. Brevard Springs Childs is one of biblical scholars who attempt to dismiss this “iron curtain” separating the two disciplines. The present thesis aims at analyzing Childs’ concept of theological exegesis in the canonical context. In the present study I employ the method of systematic analysis. The thesis consists of seven chapters. Introduction is the first chapter. The second chapter attempts to find out the most important elements which exercise influence on Childs’ methodology of biblical theology by sketching his academic development during his career. The third chapter attempts to deal with the crucial question why and how the concept of the canon is so important for Childs’ methodology of biblical theology. In chapter four I analyze why and how Childs is dissatisfied with historical-critical scholarship and I point out the differences and similarities between his canonical approach and historical criticism. The fifth chapter attempts at discussing Childs’ central concepts of theological exegesis by investigating whether a Christocentric approach is an appropriate way of creating a unified biblical theology. In the sixth chapter I present a critical evaluation and methodological reflection of Childs’ theological exegesis in the canonical context. The final chapter sums up the key points of Childs’ methodology of biblical theology. The basic results of this thesis are as follows: First, the fundamental elements of Childs’ theological thinking are rooted in Reformed theological tradition and in modern theological neo-orthodoxy and in its most prominent theologian, Karl Barth. The American Biblical Theological Movement and the controversy between Protestant liberalism and conservatism in the modern American context cultivate his theological sensitivity and position. Second, Childs attempts to dismiss negative influences of the historical-critical method by establishing canon-based theological exegesis leading into confessional biblical theology. Childs employs terminology such as canonical intentionality, the wholeness of the canon, the canon as the most appropriate context for doing a biblical theology, and the continuity of the two Testaments, in order to put into effect his canonical program. Childs demonstrates forcefully the inadequacies of the historical-critical method in creating biblical theology in biblical hermeneutics, doctrinal theology, and pastoral practice. His canonical approach endeavors to establish and create post-critical Christian biblical theology, and works within the traditional framework of faith seeking understanding. Third, Childs’ biblical theology has a double task: descriptive and constructive, the former connects biblical theology with exegesis, the later with dogmatic theology. He attempts to use a comprehensive model, which combines a thematic investigation of the essential theological contents of the Bible with a systematic analysis of the contents of the Christian faith. Childs also attempts to unite Old Testament theology and New Testament theology into one unified biblical theology. Fourth, some problematic points of Childs’ thinking need to be mentioned. For instance, his emphasis on the final form of the text of the biblical canon is highly controversial, yet Childs firmly believes in it, he even regards it as the corner stone of his biblical theology. The relationship between the canon and the doctrine of biblical inspiration is weak. He does not clearly define whether Scripture is God’s word or whether it only “witnesses” to it. Childs’ concepts of “the word of God” and “divine revelation” remain unclear, and their ontological status is ambiguous. Childs’ theological exegesis in the canonical context is a new attempt in the modern history of Christian theology. It expresses his sincere effort to create a path for doing biblical theology. Certainly, it was just a modest beginning of a long process.