Kelsey on Choices that Govern the Deployment of Scripture in Theological Arguments
David Kelsey, Providing Doctrine: The Uses of Scripture in Modern Theology, 169-70.
[T]heologians' decisions about which role in an argument supporting a theological proposal ought to be filled by scripture [ed. aside: Kelsey earlier gives a very complex analysis of how Scripture actually gets used in supporting theological arguments] is largely determined by a decision about how best to characterize the subject matter theological proposals are chiefly to elucidate. But that is to say that they are determined by the particular way each theological tries to catch up the full complexity and singularity of the mode in which God is present in a single imaginative judgment. Theologians' decisions about how to use scripture, like their decisions about how to construe the scripture they use, are determined by decisions that are literally pre-text, i.e., logically prior to any attention to any particular text taken as authority for any particular theological proposal.Kelsey's analysis certainly gives one pause about too quickly claiming that one's own theological position is scripturally superior to another, given that the relationship between how Scripture is deployed in theology is so complicated. More work needs to be done, I think, in bringing together Kelsey's functional analysis and a more theoretical doctrine of Scripture and revelation.