Friends and fellow students, thank you for all your thoughtful comments to my blog on Grenz and Olson’s “Who Needs Theology?” Forgive me for taking so long to respond to you. I’m grateful to be a member of this cohort.
Several of you brought up the same points. You spoke about my terms: Hermeneutics, Doctrine and Scripture. And you wondered how those terms squared with Grenz and Olson’s building blocks of Bible, Christian Heritage and Context. My understanding is that the term Bible can be interchanged with Scripture. Doctrine would be what these authors referred to as Christian Heritage. Finally, Hermeneutics could be substituted for the term Context.
I remember being introduced to three fictional characters in my first theology class: “Billy Bible,” “Theodore Theology,” and “Herman Hermeneutic.” Theodore Theology thought that his option should come first in building a sound theology. Billy Bible argued that Scripture should be considered first. Finally, Herman Hermeneutic argued that first we must know how to interpret a passage of Scripture. Is it poetry or law, or possibly history or even prophecy? We also seek to understand at what point in history the scripture was written. Once we have determined this, we can use the Scripture to build a sound theology. Thus, I believe that the ideal method for constructing good theology is Hermeneutics, Scripture, and then Theology.
Once again, I am blessed by your comments and questions because they make me stronger. Please hang in there with me.