Sunday, July 23, 2006

Vanhoozer Responds to Helm

Kevin Vanhoozer responds to Paul Helm's critique of his take on Charles Hodges's theological method. Since I linked to Helm's original post but just reproduced his conclusion, I'll do the same with Vanhoozer, encouraging you to read the whole thing.

In conclusion, my essay is not primarily about Hodge nor is it intended to be the definitive judgment on his theology taken as a whole. All I am really saying is that we can do better with regard to how we construe and use the Bible for the purposes of doctrinal theology than what Hodge's analogy with inductive science suggests ("a picture held us captive").
Just as Helm thinks that it is wrong to use a distorted and partial account of Hodge to advance my own cause, I hope that readers will not use Helm's account of my only-slightly-more-than-parenthetical description of Hodge as an excuse not to engage the substance of my own constructive proposals. Nevertheless, I take Helm's words as a mid-career wake-up call whose still painful sting will no doubt keep me from falling asleep at the wheel again for some time. And for this, I am grateful.

Professor Vanhoozer's response is, in my view, a model of humble scholarship that seeks to respectfully engage the arguments.

Helm will have the last word (next Monday).