When it comes to reading and interpreting scripture, I believe there are a few sources that are indispensable for engaging with (what I see as) the coming waves of theological and pastoral work. What I hope is that these coming waves will bring a new life to the church and glorify God, but also be more adept at engaging with non-Christian culture and social issues.

The first source I would recommend is Greg Boyd’s ‘cruciform’ theology of interpretation. You can find a great lecture explaining the concept here:

In supplement to this lecture, I believe John Dominic Crossan’s book How to Read the Bible and Still be a Christian is an incredibly useful tool. He does an excellent job of mapping out the different “tracks” within the bible. I also love his conclusion: the key to knowing how to navigate these various tracks is the person of Jesus. Disclaimer: I disagree with some of Crossan’s interpretations of Revelation, but if this book is coupled with Greg Boyd’s material, I think you will be well equipped as a member of the Kingdom of God.

Book:How to Read the Bible and Still be a Christian

The third source I recommend is Karl Barth. His work in taking down classical liberalism and reemphasizing orthodox teaching was a vital point in Christian history. I believe he has a lot of great thoughts to consider when it comes to interpretive methodology.

Some concluding thoughts:

I find it incredible that Jesus — who taught what is found in the Sermon on the Mount — was a first century Jew. This means he relied upon the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) as a primary source for everything he spoke about God. What is it about the Hebrew Bible that caused Jesus to say what he said in the Sermon on the Mount? That is the question I think is vital for one to ask while reading scripture. The goal of theology ought to be a reconnection to how Jesus thought about God and scripture.