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AnonymousDeleted UserSeptember 16, 2020 at 8:14 pm
“The socioeconomic and socio-historical place we occupy when we read the Scriptures makes all of the difference in how we understand their meaning.”
I’ve been reading a lot by the Taiwanese theologian Shoki Coe and the work of his students lately. They worked throughout the latter half of the 20th century on contextualizing the gospel for post-colonial contexts. Since many colonized nations received the gospel from colonizers, they were made to worship a god that justified their oppression. Just like you stated, Coe and his students argued that the context we occupy makes all the difference in the way we read scripture. Thus, they proposed a shift from a propositional way of understanding revelation to an incarnational way. How might we identify Christ in the midst of our people and their struggles? How might this radically change the way the church approaches missions?
One of Coe’s students, Kosuke Koyama, wrote about his ministry in rural Thailand, “I decided to subordinate great theological thoughts, like those of Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth, to the intellectual and spiritual needs of the farmers. I decided that the greatness of theological works is to be judged by the extend and quality of service they can render to the farmers to whom I am sent.”
I’m wondering if believing that we might be able to achieve a pure interpretation of the gospel is an illusion. How might our theology change if Christians in America are able to acknowledge the varying sociohistorical/economic positions they inhabit as they approach interpreting Scripture? To lay it all out on the table, so to speak. I’m interested in how this might make our interaction with Scripture become more dynamic, interacting with it more as the “living, breathing Word of God” rather than as stagnant, unchanging dogma.