Episcopal Priest Elizabeth Edman’s Method of Biblical Interpretation

In ‘Queer Virtue,’ Rev. Liz Edman examines not only what it means to be a queer priest, but how Christianity is a queer religion.

CHR Comment: Edman’s comments in the interview show that she holds to a loose reading of the canon of Scripture in which some texts are ignored in order to emphasize other texts or “overall message” as she puts it. In this approach, the canon becomes no canon at all since the full canon does not actually rule or guide the reader. (“Canon” is from a Greek word for a reed that was used as a measuring tool in antiquity.) It’s a bit like rounding all your measurements up to feet and saying that the inches aren’t that important even though you can’t possibly have feet without inches. Such an approach to measurement would not work practically beyond very general estimates.

Additionally, her description of John 2:1–11 provides a thorough allegorical use of the passage. Allegory, which takes things symbolically, may be useful for illustration purposes but it is not a helpful tool for determining what something actually means. Allegory may illustrate doctrine but it does not establish doctrine as Edman seems to propose. Edman’s “progressive” methods result in a separation of biblical teaching from its original context.

Source: Exploring the Queerness of Christianity with Episcopal Priest Elizabeth Edman


In Honor of David Steinmetz, Church Historian

David Curtis Steinmetz, one of the leading church historians of our time, died this past November at age 79 on Thanksgiving evening.

CHR Comment: Timothy George of Beeson Divinity School writes about an influential mentor for church historians in America. Steinmetz focused his studies on the history of biblical interpretation, taking his work to the heart of what happened in the Reformation and connecting it to the ongoing life of the church, where every service and sermon must grapple with the meaning and application of Scripture.

Source: In Honor of David Steinmetz | Timothy George | First Things

One Word of God. Gerhard

At times God [reveals His Word] by an internal breathing-on or inspiring that includes immediate illumination. At times God does this through external speech, and this is published mediately or immediately by angels and humans as His heralds and ministers, or it is put into writing, and this we call the written Word or Holy Scripture. These distinctions, however, do not create any essential difference within the Word of God. . . . After all, it is one and the same Word and counsel of God regarding our salvation.

Gerhard, Theological Commonplaces Exegesis 1, p. 24

Since the Word is one, we participate in disseminating that one Word when we proclaim or write about the Lord. We join ranks with all the prophets and saints of all times who proclaimed the one Word. We have a connection with all hearers of all time who have heard and read the one Word. We are even connected with all created order, which God called forth in the beginning by the one Word. He upholds all things by the Word of His power (Heb 1:3).