Noted author and biblical scholar Scot McKnight posted a quiz on his web page that is designed to reveal one’s hermeneutical approach toward the Scriptures. I was a little surprised by the results, which on a spectrum from conservative to moderate to progressive, put me right on the threshold between moderate and progressive. In reflecting upon my results in taking this quiz, I posted the following comment on his webpage:
I came up with a score of 65, which puts me in the moderate category, right on the threshold of being progressive. This surprised me a bit, because even though I don’t view myself as a conservative, I would have thought that I would be closer to the the threshold between conservative and moderate.
As I look at it, the critical issue that I was working out in my hermeneutical approach was not my conviction about the Bible being God’s word, but rather my posture within the community of faith. As I see it, God does not primarily constitute us as individuals, but rather we are constituted relationally. Salvation is not a ray sent from heaven, but a matter of becoming a part of Christ’s body. From this it follows that working out our faith is not a private matter, and a part of working out our faith is interpretation and application of the Gospel to our lives. Thus, interpretation cannot be the private affair of the empowered individual (whether empowered by the Spirit or empowered by theological instruction). Being constituted as a part of the whole, which is Christ’s body, all that we do should reflect this reality. I pray, I minister, I read, I interpret, I reach out to the world as a part of Christ’s body. So, though there is a personal dimension to my faith, my faith is by no means a private affair. I think this conviction is what is reflected in the results of my taking this quiz.
If you have any interest in issues regarding the interpretation of Scripture, I recommend you take this quiz, and read the comments of those who have taken it. One of the great things about Scot’s webpage is the conversations he is able to generate around the issues he addresses.