Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Barth on Scripture: George Hunsinger et al.

Finding time for anything other than poor quality posting has been a problem recently: parish ministry rightly has first place, and then there's the small matter of a PhD... BUT, I have had time for some reviewing, and have recently finished a review of George Hunsinger (ed), Thy Word is Truth: Barth on Scripture (Grand Rapids: Eedrmans, 2012). It is a really interesting book, and worthy of reading...in fact read my review in Theology when (if?) it is published later this year.

For now, though, here's a lovely quote from hunsinger's introductory chapter as he explains something of the significance of dialectical interpretation for Barth's approach to scripture:

The cross and resurrection of Christ, as proclaimed by Paul, were for Barth the paradigmatic case. They were what finally made necessry the procedure of dialectic interpretation. What held Christ's cross and resurrection together, he suggested, was not a concept but a name, not a system but a narrative. Their relation was beyond all unified experience and all unified thought. It was ineffable. Whatever might be said over and above this Name could only be a form of broken or dialectical discourse. No system could possibly contain it. The name that held together this death and resurrection signified a kind of drastic apocalyptic interruption, so to speak, in the metaphysical status quo, a revolution that overturned the old order. It meant an end to metaphysical business as usual. It was an irruption of the new aeon into the old, and the old could not contain it. This Name was the event that could not be transcended, but transcended and embraced all things. The bearer of this Name was not determined by them, but they by him. (p. xviii)
Hunsinger's poetic touch here is also beautifully inviting, and almost homiletic in its communicative ability. It's a flavour of the combination of scholarly rigour and pastoral concern in the pages of this volume. Other contributors include: Robert McAfee Brown; Katherine Sonderegger; Hans Frei; Kathryn Greene-McCreight; Katherine Grieb; John Webster; Paul Molnar; and Paul Dafydd Jones.

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