Seth Heringer – Theology and History

Episode: Seth Heringer’s Uniting History and Theology (Fortress Press) argues that Christians do not need to use the historical-critical method to make historical claims but should instead write boldly Christian history. By using the historical method, grounded as it is in an incomplete understating of German historicism, they close off investigation of the past from the aesthetic and, importantly, from God. This is why 20th-century Christian scholarship has failed to unite history and theology. Instead of relying on the historical method as the primary way to think about past events, Christians need to reimage what historical work entails. Heringer thus presents a Christian approach to history that dialogues with recent developments in historical theory.

Guest: Dr Seth Heringer (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is assistant professor of theology and scripture at Toccoa Falls College. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member of both Fuller Theological Seminary and Azusa Pacific University. He has written articles that have appeared in The Scottish Journal of Theology and the Journal of Theological Interpretation in addition to chapters in Ears That Hear: Explorations in Theological Interpretation of the Bible and Teaching the Bible in the Liberal Arts Classroom, vol. 2. He is married to Laura, an internal medicine doctor, and together they have five children aged six and under. When he is not trying to corral his children, he enjoys baking sourdough bread, fishing, and reading/watching science fiction and fantasy.

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One Reply to “Seth Heringer – Theology and History”

  1. Julian

    Very interesting episode. I’ve been thinking in similar directions through the work of Stanley Hauerwas, though I haven’t been quite bold enough to move out of ethics and into history. One major criticism I would have is that this type of approach sort of borders on an approach Seth would probably want to avoid from “presuppositional apologetics.” What thats ends up doing is just sort of reinforcing the status quo. The idea becomes we, in our Christian tribe are in FULL possession of the truth because we got our truth directly from God, and therefor, our biases are OBJECTIVE biases, and while everyone else is “blinded by the spirit of this age,” we in our little tribe have the God eye view of the world. Now, I don’t think Seth is taking this approach, he is doing something more interesting, he says that even we, who live by faith, who claim to live the story given to us by the God-man, are blinded, we have biases, the narratives we tell are false and idolatrous, and therefor we can and should always correct the stories we tell, always challenge our stories by dialoging with those who lives by other stories. I suppose this is one way that Seth could take on the challenge that he is promoting a sequestered, tribal, status quo version of Christian history. Its the difference between a pluralism that builds bridges and a pluralism that builds walls.

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