Monday, September 28, 2009

A quote from Simon Chan's "Liturgical Theology"

"But the question whether the church should be understood as a divine-humanity or as essentially a social organization has less to do with hermeneutics as with one's presunderstanding or worldview. The issue concerns boundary principles by which we seek to make sense of Scripture. If we accept the idea that the church is only a way of organizing ourselves, then all biblical descriptions of the church are likely to be understood as metaphorical descriptions of social realities-- for example, sacraments are nothing but a "memorial" of what Jesus Christ has done for our redemption. But if we believe that the church is a transcendent reality, then we need to probe the biblical descriptions more thoroughly and discover the deeply implications. Give the historical tendency within evangelicalism to accommodate itself to the spirit of the times, what appears to be the "obvious meaning of Scripture" may in fact be a result of implicit acceptance of the reigning "plausibility structure," namely, the secular assumptions of a post-Enlightenment age." (p. 29)

1 comment:

Derek said...

Interesting, much of the movement to take the Bible "literally" is the same group who will deny the Church has a transcendent nature. "Symbol" is understood rather as "only a symbol," or as the author puts it, a memorial. This is most certainly an outcome of nominalism. And whether these groups affirm with their lips that the Church is the Body of Christ or not, their actions and the way they talk the rest of the time show they believe the Body has less to do with Christ and more to do with humans.

Good passage, BTW. Especially the last sentence.