A Truth Above All Contexts: Daniel Kirk, Whiteness, and the Theological Interpretation of Scripture

A piece of mine written in response to Daniel Kirk’s criticism of the ‘whiteness’ of reading Scripture according to the Rule of Faith has just been posted over on Mere Orthodoxy.

If Theological Interpretation of Scripture needs to question the supposed objectivity and authority of its readings—and it should always retain a robust self-criticism—by the same token historical criticism needs to exhibit considerably more self-suspicion (as scholars such as Ignacio Carbajosa have argued). Historical criticism has ideologically weighted methods and philosophical assumptions, assumptions about the character of history, the evolution of religion, the sort of text that the Scripture is, etc. Indeed, precisely on account of its scientific pretensions, historical criticism has been arguably been considerably more vulnerable to delusions of its own objectivity and immunity to conditioning by its context. Such delusions are, of course, particularly characteristic of the Enlightenment (which is as white, Western, and male a phenomenon as one might hope to find). When historical criticism is practically elevated to the status of a culturally neutral and unconditioned (or universal) posture adopted in relation to the text we have a far more pronounced instance of Kirk’s so-called ‘problem of whiteness’ than the rule of faith could ever represent.

Read the whole piece here.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
This entry was posted in Bible, Controversies, Guest Post, Hermeneutics, NT, NT Theology, OT, OT Theology, Revelation, Scripture, The Triune God, Theological. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Truth Above All Contexts: Daniel Kirk, Whiteness, and the Theological Interpretation of Scripture

  1. The Man Who Was . . . says:

    That picture of Kirk at Mere Orthodoxy is quite hilarious. Kirk looks like the ur-white guy.

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