The Drama of Doctrine
"Vigorously argued, immersed both in Scripture and in the literatures of theology and philosophical hermeneutics, overflowing with provocative ideas, this is a book which both draws upon and furthers the contemporary renaissance of Christian doctrine. For anyone wanting to discover...
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"Vigorously argued, immersed both in Scripture and in the literatures of theology and philosophical hermeneutics, overflowing with provocative ideas, this is a book which both draws upon and furthers the contemporary renaissance of Christian doctrine. For anyone wanting to discover lively and generously orthodox Christian theology, this will be an excellent place to begin." -John Webster, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and author of Holy Scripture: A Dogmatic Sketch and Holiness. Observing a strange disappearance of doctrine within the church, Kevin Vanhoozer argues that there is no more urgent task for Christians today than to engage in living truthfully with others before God. He details how doctrine serves the church - the theatre of the gospel - by directing individuals and congregations to participate in the drama of what God is doing to renew all things in Jesus Christ. Taking his cue from George Lindbeck and others who locate the criteria of Christian identity in Spirit-led church practices, Vanhoozer re-locates the norm for Christian doctrine in the canonical practices, which, he argues, both provoke and preserve the integrity of the church's witness as prophetic and apostolic. Kevin J. Vanhoozer is Research Professor, Trinity International University. He is the author of Is There Meaning in This Text? (Zondervan).
Critiquing George Lindbeck's highly influential The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age (1984), Kevin Vanhoozer proposes a radical paradigm shift from Lindbeck's "cultural-linguistic" approach to Christian theology. Christian identity, he argues, is not formed within our human selves or within Christian community; rather, it is formed wholly outside of ourselves, in our given script: the Holy Scriptures. In a sustained and systematic argument, Vanhoozer describes how Christian doctrine is the drama of history, of how the Christian community, guided by the direction of the Holy Spirit, has come to live out the Christian life, as revealed in Scripture. In focusing on the role of doctrine in the life of a believing community, Vanhoozer claims that the Christian's vocation is to discern and to play one's role in the drama of redemption with "creative fidelity."
The overall aim is to explain how the church comes to share the mind of Christ, despite the difference of centuries, cultures, and conceptual schemes, thanks to the dramatic interplay of Word and Spirit. Vanhoozer describes the canonical-linguistic approach in terms of four marks. It is evangelical in its understanding of the dramatic action at the heart of the Bible's authoritative witness, orthodox in its thinking about the divine dramatis personae, catholic in its attention to various voices in Scripture and in the traditions of its interpretation, yet protestant in its use of Scripture as a critical principle for discriminating between forms of ecclesial performance. The net result is a non-reductive or expansive orthodoxy that attends to the dialogue inside the canon and about it for the sake of the integrity of our contemporary renderings of the drama of redemption
Kevin J. Vanhoozer (Ph.D., Cambridge University) is Research Professor of Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, from 1990-1998 was senior lecturer in theology and religious studies at New College, University of Edinburgh, in Edinburgh, Scotland.
He has written Biblical Narrative in the Philosophy of Paul Ricoeur (Cambridge University Press), Is There a Meaning in This Text? (Zondervan), The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical-Linguistic Approach to Christian Theology (Westminster John Knox). He is the editor of the Cambridge Companion to Postmodern Theology (Cambridge University Press), The Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible (Baker).
His most recent publications are First Theology: God, Scripture and Hermeneutics (Intervarsity Press), Remythologizing Theology: Divine Action, Passion, and Authorship. (Cambridge University Press) and Jeremiah (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible).
Koorong - Editorial Review.