David Wells on the Nature of Theology

Friends,

David Wells has written some of the most important books I have personally read. (I referenced four of them on my ‘Books’ page.) Here’s an excerpt from an essay I found online:

The nature of evangelical theology is determined for it by the nature of that Word of which it is the exposition and application. The Word of God is the unique, written disclosure of God’s character, will, acts, and plans. It is given so that men and women who have come to faith through its teaching might learn to five [sic.] in God’s world on his terms, loving and honoring him in all that they do and seeking to make known to the world his law and gospel. That is the purpose of God’s revelation and the task of theology is to facilitate this.

This facilitation begins with the recognition of the bipolar nature of biblical revelation. Biblical revelation was given in a particular cultural context but it is also intended to be heard in our own context. This revelatory trajectory, then, has a point of origination and a point of arrival. It is the fact of inspiration and the contemporary work of the Spirit which secure a consistency between its terminus a quo and its terminus a quem. The work of the Holy Spirit was such that the responsible human agents who were used in the writing of Scripture were able to employ cultural materials and, indeed, to shape the revelation in terms of their own understanding, but what God the Spirit willed should be revealed was exactly what was written, and the content and intent of this revelation were alike transcultural. The biblical revelation, because of its inspired nature, can therefore be captive neither to the culture in which it arose nor to the culture in which it arrives. It was not distorted as it was given, nor need it be distorted as we seek to understand it many centuries later in contexts far removed from those in which it was originally given.

It may sound naive, but I think a lot of arguments that we have concerning Scripture could easily be settled if we remember the role of the Holy Spirit in the transmission of Scripture. This simple fact is all too easily forgotten or neglected.

Soli Deo Gloria!

jerry

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