Monday, May 20, 2013

GEMEINDETHEOLOGIE: Who & How? - Concluding Remarks

Two questions were asked at the beginning of this series of posts. First: how can or should hermeneutics be done in community? Second, but conceptually needing to precede the first: what characterizes this community in which and by which hermeneutics is being done? Through our conversations with various historical groups, the following conclusions were drawn. A hermeneutical community is one that necessarily brings together Scripture, Spirit, and a discerning body. This community has come into existence by the proclamation of the Gospel, is sustained by the proclamation of the Gospel, and sustains the proclamation of the Gospel. It is inherently centered on Scripture and Scripture is at the genesis of said community. While this community is centered on a text, this fact does not preclude the possibility that illiteracy is present within the community. Tradition provides a good hermeneutical safeguard but is not a hermeneutical community in itself. The participants' sinfulness requires the working of the Holy Spirit, and requires a communal platform to make sure that the work of the Spirit is being interpreted correctly. All of this precludes a close knit believing community that practices repentance and forgiveness and that does not isolate itself from other communities. This community is composed of people possessing a diversity of knowledge, and it appropriately uses all the gifts with which it has been endowed. What has just been described, then, is a community that is created from the authorial intent of the author of Scripture and that has for its scope the correct understanding of the authorial intent of the author of Scripture.
In addition, four vignettes were presented of possible hermeneutical communities. Two of the vignettes were deemed not to match the three elements of Scripture, Spirit, and a discerning community as described above. The other two communities, the community holding the pastor accountable and the community with congregational participation, did match the criteria for a hermeneutical community and represent two families of possible applications for community hermeneutics.

No comments:

Join my blog network
on Facebook