Wednesday, June 29, 2022

A Note on My Current Book Project

In my opinion, standpoint epistemology is postmodern nonsense. You cannot establish what is true based on identity. If you try, you end up denying absolute truth. It's just a snake eating its own tail. Sure, you can use it to deconstruct the world. But what then? You're left with nothing but dust and ashes. You would think that "educated" academics would understand this. 

This is not to deny that we all approach Scripture with hermeneutical lenses so to speak. One's experiences do shape one's beliefs. But there is objective truth and it is available to us all. Regardless of whether I am teaching in China (13 trips), Korea (6 trips), Ethiopia (17 trips), Ukraine (3 trips), Armenia (3 trips), etc., I teach the same hermeneutical approach to the sacred text. Identity has nothing to do with this. Truth is not whatever you say it is. Any claim that states that I can't question your interpretation of the Bible isn't scientific. It's ideological dogma. When I was studying in Basel, I would often get into deep theological discussions with my fellow doctoral students, many of whom were from Korea. Although we often disagreed with each other (I never did become a Barthian), none of us would ever have denied there was such a thing as objective truth. "My" truth. What's next? My bias? My insults? My prejudice? Truth is objective and empirical in nature. Even when we're captives to the paradigms from which we operate, this doesn't mean that any old interpretation goes. 

All this and more I hope to discuss in some detail in a book I'm currently writing on New Testament interpretation. I believe there is a hunger among this generation to recover the practice of grammatical-historical interpretation. Despite all the confident and boisterous pronouncements that traditional hermeneutics is dead, the time-tested principles of biblical hermeneutics quietly refuse to disappear. 

Thanks be to God.