There we were, the 25 of us sitting at desks circling our teacher Graham Goldsworthy. For the past 3 days we sat and listened as Graham meandered his way though our intensive: Gospel Centred Hermeneutics.
A river meanders; snaking its way through rock and vegetation. As you navigate you will be taken – first to the left, then to the right and eventually if you have stayed faithful to your vessel you will reach the delta and the open salt water.
Such was our experience. Having published our class notes last year in a book entitled Gospel Centred Hermeneutics, Graham slowly worked his way through the first 12 chapters, regularly stopping to tell a story about his time teaching at Moore College in the 1960’s or preaching up in Queensland or one of his many trips to the US or England. Every story had a point but there was never any rush to get there and so we spent 3 days doing theology the way it’s meant to be.
As with any river travel, it is difficult to capture in words the grandeur of the landscape we drifted through or the time spent on the deck reflecting on the world that was drifting past. Occasionally one picks up a few twigs off the stern. They have dropped from the beauty that surrounds, but in no way represent its true splendor.
That being said, at the end of a long 3 days I have a couple of twigs from my journey that I’ll pass on.
“We must understand with great clarity; 1stly – what is the ‘for us’ work and 2ndly what is the ‘in us’ work of God. So much confusion arises from a misunderstanding or a reversal of this – in hermeneutics, in preaching and in pastoral care. ”
“God is the only one who can interpret the reality he has created and God has revealed himself in the person of Jesus. Thus every fact in this universe has its ultimate reality in the person and work of Jesus.”
“There are only two positions that are available in hermeneutics. It is either;
1. The theistic position
2. Another position based upon human autonomy.
And human autonomy is best defined in Gen 3 with the question; “has God really said…”.
I hope in the next few days to give you some more twigs.