Perriman responds to my review of his book
The following comes from private e-mail correspondence with Andrew about his book, Otherways, which I reviewed recently here. I asked for his permission to publish the following honest response as a separate blog to facilitate discussion, especially as a couple of commentators to my review were quite negatively disposed towards his project. And he makes a couple of good points below, especially about the necessary dialogue between scripture and tradition which many of us, in practice, reduce to tradition's monologue.
"Thanks. It's a great review.
The point about valuing tradition is well taken. I guess in the back of my mind there is always a more respectful dialogue with tradition going on that doesn't always show up in the written polemic. And it's not as though there's a shortage of people out there willing to defend traditional formulations of theology! But I think what the parable is trying to address is simply the problem of over-familiarity. For there to be a genuine dialogue between scripture and tradition scripture must be seen for what it really is, independent of tradition as far as possible - otherwise it's a dialogue heavily weighted in favour of tradition.
My problem with the trinitarian statement has to do more with the problem it creates for reading the New Testament, because inevitably it gives the impression that deep down this is how scripture constructs its understanding of God. I think that's what I was getting at by the distinction between 'theologically necessary' and 'normative'. It may arise out of our reading of scripture, but all sorts of problems arise, it seems to me, if we then reverse the process and allow our reading of scripture to be shaped by our later theological formulations.
The other problem, of course, is that my outlook as a New Testament theologian is much too narrow! I need to catch up on some historical theology. I'll also look out for Bockmuehl's book.
I hope this doesn't sound too defensive. I am delighted with the review and really appreciate you taking a publication of this nature seriously."