Sunday, March 04, 2007

Bridging the Gap

The challenge of Christian Scholars working in Leadership Studies (for that matter any academic field and discipline) is to bridge the gap between the world in which the Scriptures were produced and our own contexts. In a sense, serious thinkers working with the sacred Scriptures must be good exegetes not only of Scripture but also their own world.
Vernon Robbins' approach, amongst many other contemporary hermeneutical approaches is a good start to try to bridge this gap. Robbins summarized his approach in a speech he gave in South Africa in 1999 at the South African New Testament Society:

"As the twentieth century ends and the third millennium begins, socio-rhetorical interpretation has become a multi-dimensional approach to texts guided by a multi-dimensional hermeneutic. Rather than being another method for interpreting texts, socio-rhetorical interpretation is an interpretive analytic an approach that evaluates and reorients its strategies as it engages in multi-faceted dialogue with the texts and other phenomena that come within its purview. The approach does not claim to be comprehensive. Rather, the claim is that the approach uses the insights of sociolinguistics, semiotics and ethnography in an interactionist philosophical mode that sets ancient, modern and post-modern systems of thought in energetic dialogue with one another."

When we flesh our the Word in our world, we will see the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).