Vern Poythress and Level 3b
The BJU Press Bible Integration team, in which I am thankful to be an insignificant cog, uses a rubric of sorts to gauge whether or not we’re really doing Bible integration. I’ve written about it before. We call it, informally, “the levels.” The three levels of Bible Integration. If it sounds hokey, ad hoc, or insufficient, I urge you to come up with something better. I’ve never seen anyone (except its original author) make the attempt, though I admit to something less than exhaustive knowledge.
The levels move from level 0, in which there is no connection between the Bible and the academic matter at hand, to level 3, which evaluates whole academic disciplines and cultural domains according to Scripture and then seeks to rebuild them on scriptural principles.
Vern Poythress just provided a perfect, brief example of level 3a, “evaluating the discipline”:
The contemporary Western world thinks that, since language is wholly human, it cannot possibly be a reasonable vehicle for talking about God. If we do employ human language to talk about God, it is only by virtue of stretching and twisting it for new, strange purposes, and we can hardly know what it is that we are saying. But this kind of inference rests on anti-Christian assumptions about language.
And here’s another:
The contemporary atmosphere about history, based on a closed series of causes, also involves the assumption that, at the most fundamental level, history consists in bare facts. Theological meanings and artistic coloring in a historical account are human additions after the fact.
And then he provides a great 3b, in which he (briefly, again) offers suggestions on how the academic discipline of history, in this case, might be rebuilt according to Christian presuppositions:
By contrast, I maintain that history, as a working out of the plan of God, has innate meaning from the beginning, according to God’s design. So theological interpretation and literary rendering through plots, which we find in the Gospels, are not human inventions, but explications of divine significance that really belongs to the events.
This post doesn’t necessarily reflect the position of my employer, BJU Press. If you’d like to read more about BJU Press Bible Integration principles, check out this official white paper.
And one more HT: to Aholiab.