Faith on View Biblical Commentary
This is a project that will always be a work-in-progress. My, Rondall's, thoughts about scripture are in no way authoritative but hopefully they reflect some amount of wisdom. It is also my intention to leave the comments on each page open so my interpretations can be challenged. When others inevitably demonstrate the failures of my thoughts, I can then amend the commentary.
Obviously, the Bible is huge and it will takes decades to develop this project. The first books of the Bible addressed in this commentary will be the Gospels since they tie directly into another project on which I am slowly working. The commentary will be added passage at a time so please, if you find my thoughts at all edifying or challenging, keep coming back to see what has been added.
A Unique Perspective
I hope that this commentary provides a unique perspective. My life exists in the strange space between studio practice, art history, philosophy, and theology. So, I don't come to scripture from a pure theologians perspective or a pastors perspective. Also, I was raised Baptist and have spent most of my life in baptistic circles, of one sort or the other. But, much of my Ph.D. work has been done with Catholics, especially Dominicans, I teach at a Pentecostal University, and I am currently attending a Episcopalian church so I have a variety of theological influences. I consider myself to be on the moderate-conservative end theologically but I've also spent a good deal of time with both fundamentalists and liberals so I have an appreciation of diverse perspectives. Mostly though, it is in my nature to question. I bring that nature to scripture as I seek to question if my understanding, or the understandings I've been taught, are what the authors intended and reflect God's truth or are they simply my bias.
I believe that it may be of some benefit to understand my approach to scripture before diving into the commentary. So, below are statements about my methodological approach and my understanding of a Christian Worldview. Hopefully, these will be helpful.
I believe that truth exists and is knowable. Truth about both the mundane and the profound, the physical and the metaphysical are fixed realities that are able to be apprehended.
I believe that reason is a part of God’s natural revelation and that reason is a universal gift from God to humanity. It is my conviction that what is true is also rational. Therefore, what is decisively rational should be considered to be true and what is not decisively rational should be considered false.
I believe that through the processes of history God has provided an authoritative set of writings we call Scriptures. The Scriptures were providentially brought into being by God and purposed to serve as an authoritative source for teaching on ultimate realities. Scriptures are the only objective authority on ultimate realities to which we have access.
I believe that our beliefs and teachings should be brought into accordance with the actual teaching of the Biblical text and that our beliefs need not be brought into accordance with any spiritual authority other than scripture.
I believe that our understanding of scripture’s teaching must be produced through sound Biblical exegesis. Sound Biblical exegesis must assume that the Biblical text communicates in the manner of ordinary human verbal communication. As such, the literary character of the text must be considered when seeking to exegete scripture.
There are certain base elements which are necessary components of a Christian Worldview. The popular mode in recent years has been to propose an expansive conception of a Christian Worldview. I, however, believe in a modest conception of the Christian Worldview. I profess only those core elements that are truly necessary for Christian faith to be essentials of the Christian Worldview.
Belief in the supernatural is an essential element of the Christian Worldview. The Christian perspective is not limited to naturalistic assumptions. In fact, the base Christian assumption is that there is something beyond our naturalistic reality. There is something beyond nature.
There are many ideas about the supernatural. The Christian assumption is not that of an impersonal deity or force or of a capricious deity. The Christian assumption is of a personal deity who is engaged with and cares for His creation.
The personal deity of the Christian faith has communicated with humanity through Scripture. This communication is authoritative literature from the Creator to the Creature.The Christian Worldview requires two commitments from the faithful, which are not only religious but profoundly affect the living of one’s life. The first is a holistic love for God. Believers are to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. In short, we are to love Him in all ways possible with all that they are. Secondly, believers are to have a selfless love for others.