The Hermeneutics Quiz
The progressive is not always progressive. Those who score 66 or more can be seen as leaning toward the progressive side, but the difference between at 66 and 92 is dramatic. Still, the progressive tends to see the Bible as historically shaped and culturally conditioned, and yet most still consider it the Word of God for today. Following a progressive hermeneutic, for the Word to speak in our day, one must interpret what the Bible said in its day and discern its pattern for revelation in order to apply it to our world. The strength, as with the moderate but even more so, is the challenge to examine what the Bible said in its day, and this means the progressives tend to be historians. But the problems for the progressives are predictable: Will the Bible's so-called "plain meaning" be given its due and authoritative force to challenge our world? Or will the Bible be swallowed by a quest to find modern analogies that sometimes minimize what the text clearly says?
Wherever you land on this scale, it is my hope we all will engage the seriousness of how we read the Bible—and don't read the Bible.
Scot McKnight is professor of religious studies at North Park University in Chicago and the author of the upcoming book, The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible (Zondervan, 2008).
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