Wednesday, March 28, 2012

John Webster on the Two Ways of Responding to the Complicity of the Canon in Moral Evil

"The complicity of the canon in moral evil is undeniable. But one may adopt one of two postures to this state of affairs. The first, dominant in the modern history of freedom, has been genealogical: trace the history, observe the corruptions of producers and their products, and so cast down the mighty from their thrones. No serious Christian theology can afford to be anything other than grateful for some of the fruits of this posture. The other, minority, response, has been to talk of the canon dogmatically as that means of grace through which the judgment of the apostolic gospel is set before the church. If the canon is a function of God's communicative fellowship with an unruly church, if it is part of the history of judgement and mercy, then it cannot simply be a stabilizing factor, a legitimating authority. Rather, as the place where divine speech may be heard, it is -- or ought to be -- a knife at the church's heart."

--John Webster, Word and Church: Essays in Christian Dogmatics (New York: T&T Clark, 2001), 46

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