Thursday, March 10, 2011

Concept and thought: Vanhoozer gets it right

Chapter 3, page 90, The Drama of Doctrine:
Many, if not most, of the concepts in the Bible (e.g., father, king, salvation, sin, image of God) are more like "my childhood" or "house" than "spped of light." They have fuzzy edges' they lack exactitude. They are not meaningless--far from it!--yet they are not susceptible to unambiguous and univocal definitions either. While some might worry that such fuzzy concepts communicate less, they actually communicate more. The reason is that concepts are not mental pictures of discrete objects but rather mental habits that connect entities and experiences in significant relationships. A concept is a habitual way of experiencing and interpreting the world. We do not think about but with concepts.
Corollary: timeless, unambiguous statements of eternal truth cannot be the goal of theology, unless God really is a creation of man.

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