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First Theology: God, Scripture & Hermeneutics

First Theology: God, Scripture & Hermeneutics

Vanhoozer, Kevin J.


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The primary goal of this volume is to construct a theological framework that will integrate the doctrines of God and Scripture in a hermeneutically satisfactory and self-conscious manner. As the title suggests, First Theology focuses questions on theological prolegomena, i.e., the theological and philosophical assumptions that inform all theological inquiry. Sensitive to the postmodern context that stands in opposition to all attempts to recast “reality” in terms of oppressive ideologies, Vanhoozer advocates a distinctive Trinitarian and covenantal option for doing first theology in which he argues that the “best way to view God and Scripture is to acknowledge God as a communicative agent and Scripture as his communicative action.” When elaborated in terms of Trinitarian categories, and when joined to a high view of Scripture, Vanhoozer’s proposal attempts to do justice to the way that God and Scripture are mutually contextualizing realities that always function together in developing “first theology.” - Jeff Waddington - Westminster Bookstore Staff

Publisher Review:

"This is a book on theological hermeneutics. It is a plea for being hermeneutical about theology and for being theological about hermeneutics. It is an argument for treating the questions of God, Scripture and hermeneutics as one problem. This one problem defines what I call 'first theology.' " (from the Preface)

In thirteen chapters, Kevin Vanhoozer explores various dimensions of doing first theology and illuminates not only how we can talk about God but how we can begin with the Word of God and act on the basis of that Word. Blazing a pathway for recovering the unity of biblical studies and theological reflection, he addresses the challenges presented by the contemporary so-called postmodern situation, especially deconstructionism. Not only does a way of doing God-centered biblical interpretation come to light through Vanhoozer's explorations, but the triune identity of a God who is communicative, loving and sovereign also comes into focus.

This is a book for students, pastors and teachers who have an interest in the character of God, the nature of Scripture, Christian theology, our approach to hermeneutics and how they are all necessarily interrelated to the glory of God.

Book Details

Publisher: InterVarsity Press
ISBN 10: 0830826815
ISBN 13: 9780830826810