Now that I’ve had a break from school for a couple of months, I think it’s time to reflect on some of the things that nudged me toward the seminary in the first place. Atonement immediately springs to mind.
Fueled by the philosophies of the Enlightenment, modernist approaches to biblical interpretation have optimistically presupposed an objective, scientific detachment as both possible and desirable when interpreting the biblical narrative. However, beginning with the development of postmodern thought in the second half of the twentieth century, scholars have begun to question whether it is possible to achieve such a goal (Newsom 502). As a conscious understanding of our own cognitive framework and its role in our perception of reality has emerged, scholars have begun to understand two things. First, the authors of the biblical texts shaped their stories according to a set of assumptions about the nature of reality. Second, readers filter the biblical narrative through a subjective lens that is shaped by their own assumptions about reality.