29 November 2009

Goldsworthy: Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics

Yesterday got my first Graeme Goldsworthy book in the mail, Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics: Foundations and Principles of Evangelical Biblical Interpretation. I've dipped into various books of his, always finding him helpful, but have yet to plow through a book of his cover to cover. So far I'm finding what I expected: he brings together the gospel, biblical theology, salvation history, unapologetic evangelical confessionalism, and christocentrism in fruitful cross-pollination that is, in a word, exciting, and fills out much of what I've learned from Greg Beale and others the past two years. Miles Van Pelt reviews/summarizes this book at Ref 21 here.

Here's a typically good statement on the hermeneutical priority of the gospel itself.

The Bible makes a very radical idea inescapable: not only is the gospel the interpretative norm for the whole Bible, but there is an important sense in which Jesus Christ is the mediator of the meaning of everything that exists. In other words, the gospel is the hermeneutical norm for the whole of reality. All reality was created by Christ, through Christ and for Christ (Col 1:15-16). God's plan is to sum up all things in Christ (Eph 1:9-10). In him are all the treasures of wisdom and understanding (Col 2:2-3). As a result, the ultimate significance of all non-biblical literature can be summed up in biblical-gospel terms. . . . The atoning work of Christ has redemptive ramifications for the whole universe. . . . [T]he ultimate interpretation of the meaning of everything is found only in Christ. (p. 63; emphasis original).

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