A Hermeneutic of Charity: Response To Heather Landrus

in Journal of Pentecostal Theology
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Abstract

This response to the article of Heather Landrus appreciates the way that studying how the life experiences (or, social locations) of believers influ ence how they interpret Scripture can invite students to receive these testi mony-enriched readings with respect and to respond to them both charitably and critically, for the glory of God. A response to a reading one cannot endorse completely critiques the reading charitably when it (1) discerns the gospel intention in the reading; (2) rejoices in the good fruit borne through the reading; (3) seeks to preserve the good fruit while re-rooting the gospel intention in Scripture texts (or acts of the Christian meta-narrative) in which that intention is expressed more clearly, with fewer hermeneutical difficul ties, and more fully, with the voicing of more of the 'whole counsel of God'; and (4) offers one's own critical-faith reading, not to discredit another's but to build up others. This 'hermeneutic of charity' contemporizes the similar approach of Augustine in De doctrina christiana and, in this article, uses Oral Roberts' reading of 3 Jn 2 as an example.

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