Joseph Gordon – Divine Scripture in Human Understanding

Episode: We all know that for Christians, Scripture is crucial–it’s the lifeblood of the church. But when we press deeper, what is it? What do words like authority and inspiration mean? How does the Bible best fit into a broader Christian theology? Joseph K. Gordon joins OnScript host Matthew Bates to talk about Joe’s exciting new book, Divine Scripture in Human Understanding.

Guest: Joseph K. Gordon is Associate Professor of Theology at Johnson University in Knoxville, Tennessee. His research and theological reflection have focused on questions about the history, nature, and purposes of Christian Scripture, on theological anthropology, and on theologies of history. Divine Scripture in Human Understanding is his first book. He has published articles in Theological StudiesNova et Vetera, Method: A Journal of Lonergan StudiesThe Stone-Campbell Journal, and The Lonergan Review. He is currently writing an introduction to the life and thought of Bernard Lonergan for the Cascade Companions series (Cascade/Wipf & Stock). An “outside theologian,” he is an amateur naturalist and herpetologist and enjoys playing floor hockey and soccer with his students, and, most of all, spending time with his wife and one-year-old son.

The Book: Joseph K. Gordon, Divine Scripture in H.uman Understanding: A Systematic Theology of the Christian Bible (University of Notre Dame Press, 2019). Divine Scripture in Human Understanding addresses the confusing plurality of contemporary approaches to Christian Scripture―both within and outside the academy―by articulating a traditionally grounded, constructive systematic theology of Christian Scripture. Utilizing primarily the methodological resources of Bernard Lonergan and traditional Christian doctrines of Scripture recovered by Henri de Lubac, it draws upon achievements in historical critical study of Scripture, studies of the material history of Christian Scripture, reflection on philosophical hermeneutics and philosophical and theological anthropology, and other resources to articulate a unified but open horizon for understanding Christian Scripture today. Following an overview of the contemporary situation of Christian Scripture, Joseph Gordon identifies intellectual precedents for the work in the writings of Irenaeus, Origen, and Augustine, who all locate Scripture in the economic work of the God to whom it bears witness by interpreting it through the Rule of Faith. (Publisher’s description, abridged).

The OnScript Quip (our review): If we are to live in light of Scripture, it is imperative to discern what it is and how it functions. In Divine Scripture in Human Understanding, Joseph Gordon answers essential meta questions about the Bible, convincingly locating Scripture in the redemptive economy of three-in-one God. This is a gift to the church.  — Matthew W. Bates, Quincy University, OnScript

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If you like this: Check out our episode with Kevin Vanhoozer on his book Biblical Authority After Babel. 


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