Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
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Robert L. Thomas. Evangelical Hermeneutics – The New Versus the Old. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2002. 524 pages. Reviewed by Fred Moritz.
Post-modernism has affected the thinking of evangelical theologians, and it bleeds down into their writing and thus into the pulpits and churches across America and around the world. Much of the argument over theological positions is the result of a marked shift in the way present day evangelicals interpret Scripture. Thomas, who teaches at The Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, California, has given us an excellent insight into the issues of hermeneutics and how these issues affect current thinking about Scripture. He writes for the preacher who labors to preach the Word to his people weekly.
Part 1 of the book contains eleven chapters and deals with the role of revisionist hermeneutics in altering interpretive principles. He describes for us the shift away from the traditional grammatical-historical methods of interpretation and where this shift has led. He also reiterates the importance of this traditional method of interpreting the Bible.
In this first section of the book, Thomas also deals with issues that affect everyone in ministry. He spends an entire chapter on the dynamic equivalence theory of Bible translation. He devotes another chapter to the place of general revelation in hermeneutics.
Part 2 of the book covers the role of revisionist hermeneutics in fostering new doctrines. Six chapters apply the issue of the new hermeneutics to progressive dispensationalism,
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evangelical feminism, evangelical missiology, theonomy, and open theism. Two chapters deal specifically with issues that impact you on the mission field. Chapter Four examines whether dynamic equivalence is a method of translation or a system of hermeneutics. Chapter Fourteen explains how the hermeneutics of evangelical missiology deals with issues that affect modern missionaries. The entire book deals with issues of relevance to every day study of the Word and ministry.
The issue of hermeneutics has been a battleground for a number of years. Thinkers such as Gadamer and Thiselton, men not very well known to us, have influenced better known evangelical leaders and writers like Grant Osborne and Eugene Nida. The destructive results of these men’s thinking filter down to the average pastor and church member without many even knowing it. Thomas has researched this field and has made it practical for all of us, but especially those in ministry.
Every preacher would profit from the reading of this book. Additionally, any who are working in educational endeavors are encouraged to read and assimila...
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