I’m sitting in a Doctor of Ministry class today on the topic of “Theological Epistemology”. The class is being taught by Dr. Thorsten Moritz, from Bethel Seminary. He is challenging us to think about:

What is your epistemology? How do you approach knowledge and understanding what knowledge is?

What is your methodology in approaching the Biblical text? Where does that methodology come from? Does it bring-out the true meaning of the text, or does it reveal what you want it to say?

How do you know what is truth? Because of the Enlightenment, the professor is saying that we use prescribed methods or steps to understanding the Bible that might actually block the true meaning of the text.

One classmate shared that, “If you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” If we only have one methodology for approaching the text, then will all of our understandings of the text start to look like a “nail” (i.e. fit our preconceived notions)?

What scholars to you listen to in your Bible Study prep? Do you know what tradition they are come from? Is there an epistemology above your or your favorite interpreter’s understanding of knowledge?

These are just a few of the questions that we’re reflecting on today. Dr. Moritz is trying to impress upon us that there is a problem on how pastors approach the Bible and teach their congregations the message(s) of the Bible.

How do YOU do theology and approach the Bible?