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The Drama

Our competence as readers–as witnesses who attest to "what we have seen and heard"; as jury members seeking to do justice to the evidence–is what is on trial every time we interpret the Bible. For we attest what we believe–about texts, about God, about ourselves–in each and every one of our interpretations. The trial of interpretation ultimately concerns not the text but the interpreter: Will the readers respond to the word of the Lord appropriately or not?

Doctrine helps the people of God to participate fittingly in the drama of redemption, and so to be true and faithful witnesses to God's incarnate wisdom. . . Viewed against this backdrop, the church is less the cradle of Christian theology than its crucible: the place where the community's understanding of faith is lived, tested, and reformed.

Vanhoozer, The Drama of Doctrine, 21, 25.

The Drama

I got a new book in the mail yesterday. Saturday I was talking to my old roommate-- old referring both to rooming with him in the past and his decrepit and crotchety nature-- and he told me about the "big orange pumkin" that is The Drama of Doctrine by Kevin Vanhoozer.

I read the Preface last night and I'm really looking forward to getting through it, especially since I haven't read an entire book that wasn't on a syllabus in quite a few years. And even then...

What's this book about? In Vanhoozer's words:

The Drama of Doctrine argues that there is no more urgent task in the church than to demonstrate faith's understanding by living truthfully with others before God. It further argues that doctrine is an indispensable aid to understanding and and to truthful living. Doctrine is a vital ingredient in the well-being of the church, a vital aid to the public witness. The problem is not with the doctrine per se but with a picture of doctrine, or perhaps several pictures, that have held us captive.

(Vanhoozer, xii)