If this seems heady, well, it will be; it’s doctoral work. But my commitment is to serve the fruit of the ministry of study at the congregational table. What we need, in Churches of Christ at least, is a real hermeneutical alternative to the defunct interpretive habits that haunt us, and that alternative should be rooted in participation in God’s mission. I care deeply about hermeneutics because congregations need to live missionally in the world through the biblical narrative. We need reading practices that help us to embody God’s purposes, both in the interpretive process and in word-and-deed proclamation of the kingdom. Where virtue, pragmatics, and mission meet, we have in view roughly two kinds of interpretive practices:
Practices that transform the church—actually making us who we are supposed to be, not just people who affirm the conclusions they are supposed to affirm.
Practices that transform the world—actually participating in the restoration of all creation.
If, in the next three years, I can make any contribution in this direction, I will consider myself deeply privileged. I thank God for the opportunity.