The Bible in the Economy of Salvation: Telford Work on Scripture

Living and Active

 [A]n adequate doctrine of Scripture [contra B.B. Warfield and C. Hodge] depends circularly on the very doctrines that Scripture helps establish. It fits equally well at the end of a systematic theology as at its beginning. Indeed, it arguably fits best throughout one’s theological system, developing along with its other categories in order to inform them and be informed by them at every point. The Bible is a truly rich theological resource, as both prophetic and apostolic foundation for Christian doctrine and a beneficiary of it […]

Systematic bibliology…orders the various dimensions of Scripture according to the divine economy of salvation: The Bible saves because of its divine character and agency. The Bible has a divine character and agency in order to form, reform, and govern God’s chosen people” (Work, Living and Active: Scripture in the Economy of Salvation [2002], 319-20).


8 thoughts on “The Bible in the Economy of Salvation: Telford Work on Scripture

    • But that wouldn’t have the same ring would it?

      Besides, engaging readers in fruitful dialogue on topics related to theology, the church, and the Christian life is our intention in writing the book reviews that we do. At least in our mind the reviews are not ends in themselves.

      Take for instance the last two quotes, one from Brueggemann and the other from Work. My work lately has been on theological interpretation of scripture and both Brueggemann and Work have meaningful contributions to make in this regard. Each of the quotes indicate toward our conception of the “what” of the Biblical text and how we might “order” an account of its authority in the Church. And, they raise any number of questions: Does Brueggemann’s account offer us a robust sense of the text’s status as “living and active” while undercutting our ability to point to specific ways in which we can perceive the text’s lasting authority (some conservative evangelicals might worry)? Or, does Work’s ordering of the Bible across the full range of doctrinal loci fulfill a trully theological account of the text while depleting what Hodge and Warfield saw as the necessary justification of the Bible in prolegomena?

      These quotes might raise any number of other questions or commendations. Thoughts?

  1. I think Martin does have a point. This blog was a lot better when its authors used their own thoughts and formulations to “engage readers in fruitful dialogue on topics related to theology, the church and the Christian life.”

    If the reviews are not the end, then it would be nice to see the end or something approaching the end once and a while, if not the majority of the time.

    • Fair enough, finitude is a real bummer huh? Yet, on the other hand, maybe Barth had it right, that creaturely limitation is “not a negation but the most positive affirmation”:

      “The man who is limited by Him is the man who is loved by Him. Rather than tolerating our limitation with a sigh, we have every reason to take it seriously, to affirm it, to accept it, and to praise God for the fact that in it we are what we are and not something else” (CD III/4, 568).

      We hope you stay around and enrich the discussion.

      • Umm, I don’t think I was clear. I’m fine with Barth’s account of creaturely finitude.

        By using the word “end” or telos I was picking up on the phrase you used before that “the reviews are not ends in themselves.” Fair enough, the blog is instrumental in the greater aforementioned purpose, but is its instrumentality exhausted in writing book reviews, hence warranting the name “book review forum”?

        I was hoping to be encouraging, suggesting that the pre-book review days made for a better blog, hoping to see more of it.

  2. I laughed out loud when I read Martin’s comment – hilarious. I imagine that is the temoporary result of Kent’s first year teaching, my dissertation coming to completion, and the vast amount of books we’ve agreed to review! Hopefully when things settled down we’ll have some more “original” content. Sadly, I would talk about my dissertation but no one reads Edwards!

  3. Mike, I do appreciate the encouragement. My remarks about finitude were lighthearted reference to my ever-present awareness of limitation – doing all that I would like on TF being only one instance. Cheers.

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