Methodology and Rationale

Just like high-school maths exams, theological answers are best when you show your working. The limitations of books have made that difficult in the past, so that a theologian writing about a particular topic cannot include every bit of exegesis on every passage that has led them to their position. The interconnected nature and unlimited space of web sites means that we can now show our exegetical and biblical working to support our theological conclusions. That is what I intend to do here.

The main elements of my theological method are:

  1. Biblical. The bible is the inspired and inerrant word of God. Theology comes from the Bible
  2. Biblical-theological (Following the Australian usage of the term). The Bible is a coherent whole which tells the account of God’s salvation plan from creation to new creation, culminating with the person and work of Jesus Christ. The task of theology is to see how a topic is developed throughout that history. Passages cannot be taken out of their context in that account, so OT passages need to be read through Jesus, and NT passages must be read in light of the OT upon which they rest.
  3. Exegetical. No passage can be used in theology without some exegetical work. This includes an account of the literary context of the passage (how it fits into the book) and historical context of the original author and intended recipients.
  4. Reformed and Evangelical in theological orientation. The first point of which is the primacy of Scripture, and hence the possibility that previous theological structures (including reformed and evangelical ones) have mis-understood texts or expressed truths in ways that need refining.
  5. Collaborative and consultative. What I write is what I currently think is correct according to Scripture, but I am constantly looking for additions, corrections and modifications to bring it closer to the truth. I am asking expert scholars who I am in touch with to read through sections when they are completed, and I hope that they and you will comment – especially when there is disagreement.
  6. Controversy avoiding. In areas where evangelicals differ amongst themselves which are not directly affecting the topic I’m examining, I will specifically avoid taking a ‘side’ and will instead focus on how the passage illuminates the topic at hand. The intention is to avoid being pigeon-holed and instantly rejected by either side of the issue. Most notably, this will be shown in Genesis where I will examine the texts from both a ‘literal’ view point and a ‘literary’ one.
  7. Humble. While I believe that what I am writing is a true reflection of Scripture (otherwise, why would I write it?), I am convinced that I will get things wrong. I welcome comments on any page about anything written. Corrections, expansions or different angles to take are eagerly desired.

As with all this site, the rationale is a work in progress. Where possible and appropriate, it will be updated and given more detail.

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