Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rough-drafting the Word of God

victor reppert said...

“Do you honestly thing that anyone comes to Scripture from a neutral perspective? Because your view of God is unpopular in some circles you suppose that you base it on Scripture and only on Scripture. You bring just as many hermeneutical presuppositions to Scripture as I do.”

But this ducks the question of whether Scripture, as the word of God, is ever in a position to correct our presuppositions. What happens when we come to the Bible with our preconceptions, and our preconceptions collide with the Bible? Then what?

Reppert never allows the word of God to be the word of God. Is God ever permitted to disagree with the great Victor Reppert? Or would it reflect unaccountably poor judgment on God’s part to have a difference of opinion with a man of Reppert’s unimpeachable wisdom?

If fact, God should have waited until Reppert was born to consult with him before God wrote the Bible. It was very presumptuous of God to write the Bible without Reppert’s advice. As a result, a lot suspect material made its way into the final draft which a sharp-eyed editor like Reppert would have crossed out with his red pen and sent back to the Holy Spirit for further revisions.

What about extrabiblical input? Yes, common knowledge of the world is relevant to the interpretation of Scripture. So is Biblical archeology. But the point of that is to arrive at the meaning of Scripture. To see Scripture through the eyes of the original audience. That’s not the same thing as modern scientific theorizing. Or moral intuition.

Reppert is always on the outside, looking in.


  1. Using the post-modernist argument is quite a desperate move on his part. Then again, every move he's made so far has been desperate.

  2. Do your presuppositions count as being “outside?”

  3. No one's presuppositions are "outside".

    Of course, we could also say that Reppert (and Wesley and Lewis) are judging the Biblical doctrine of predestination (stemming from their "intuitions") by their Americanized cultural upbringing. Presuppositions are part of all reasoning (and, in the case of Reppert, emoting), including Reppert's "No Bible" philosophy.

  4. normajean said:

    Do your presuppositions count as being “outside?”


    Many of us initially approach the Bible as outsiders. We bring our cultural preconceptions and prejudices with us.

    The issue is whether we eventually identify with the viewpoint of Scripture. Whether we assume the viewpoint of Scripture, not merely for the sake of argument, but make it our own. Reppert hasn't done that. He keeps his distance.

  5. NJ,

    Do you agree with this:

    "If the Bible teaches something as true, then it is true."