At the moment I have a three sided mirror in which to reflect on some big questions about change and the nature of the christian message. I am reading Phillip Davies Whose bibe is it anyway for my post grad in practical theology, Reading Pete Rollins The fidelity of betrayal and the third mirror is my own practice side of church on the edge driven by the missiology developed over the past decade or so. All which are provoking me to look deeper at the meta-narrative I think the christain faith and Biblical text carry and the implications for mission.
Davies discusses the nature/approaches of biblical criticism and argues that there are esentially two perspectives, confessional (coming from a theological/faith perspective which he also uses emic, Bible studies and Scripture to differetate those who see the Bible as canon) or non confessional (coming from a humanist perspective where he also used the terms etic, biblical studies and non canonical). His typeology is good and useful but I find his understanding of the confessional perspective (a kind of fundemental/literalist to liberal) limted and dated.
From my third confessional perspective (which I would say borrows from modern emerging church perspectives that in themselves also borrow from traditions although reframed, post modern theory, and mission encounters) sees faith about the redemptive processes that consistantly ruptures our worldview (inc our faith paradigm) and is a series of revolutionary moves
that form and shape a new (at the time) but growing (in hindsight) understanding of God.
So I have no qualms about Davies exegisis of texts as they may help us with the rupture, indeed I approach Biblical studies with this mind (part of the third confessional perspective) and may even argue that this is why we have the text, however Davies would argue that confessional perpectives limit. I would agree when looking at narrow confessional perspectives and that there is a danger of this within the third, but I would argue that biblical criticism from the third perspective more in line with etic approaches than the emic as it demands a rigour and openess that could even beyond a humanist perspective as this a truth understanding that may be less open than the third confessional perpective.
Rollins in both the fidelity of betrayal and how not to speak of God goes someway to underline both the need for a third confessional perspective (although he doesnt use the term) and identifies and develops (particularly in fidelity of betrayal) the perspective as he reflects on the place and notions of truth held within/by the historic confessional perspectives.
Davies exergesis of Abraham in chapter 5 Male bonding leads him conclude “there are no historical or theological truths that need to be won from this, only the wisdom and experience of the tellers.” and the writer may be suggesting that god is much like politican that makes promises that change, and not to be trusted, and that we shoud hold these lightly, esentially that neither Abraham or Yhwh are what they are cracked up to be. So what Davies does is very consistant with a third confessional perspective perhaps even biblical evidence for this perspective, and supports how Rollins develops the perpective as the God we know cannot be G-d as G-d is beyond, more etc.
(sorry about the spelling but spell check not working and low on time)