Luke Timothy Johnson, Robert W. Woodruff Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Christian Origins at Candler School of Theology, has spent a lifetime writing on the New Testament. If you want to know more about his latest book,Constructing Paul, consider Nijay Gupta’s interview or Scot McKnight’s book review.
Here, I wish to connect Johnson’s vision of Scripture to the life of the church. Under his supervision as a doctoral student, he taught me how to read Scripture both closely and imaginatively, as an artful skill and spiritual discipline. A significant refrain in Johnson’s work is the centrality of religious experience for the interpretation of Scripture. At times, for Johnson, the cumulative weight of human experience contradicts scriptural commands; while for evangelicals Scripture holds the central place of authority over other common sources of theological reflection (experience, tradition, and reason). Yet Johnson has a lot to teach on reading and experiencing ...1