"But That's Your Interpretation": Realism, Reading, and Reformation

Monday, 16 Jul 2007

The Spirit transforms us from being non-realists who prefer our own lies to realists who desire to hear the Word of God. Reading in the Spirit, therefore, means letting the letter accomplish the purpose for which it was sent.
There is a subterranean issue that bedevils contemporary debates over the interpretation of Scripture. This fault-line is not geological but philosophical, and ultimately theological. On one side of the chasm are those who believe that texts have a specific message, a determinate meaning-in principle knowable-which the author verbally conveys to the reader. On the other side are those who deny this belief, maintaining that what the reader finds in the text is largely a function of one's interests, background, creativity, and skill. For the first group, interpretation is embarking on a voyage of discovery with a clear destination: ...

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