Topic: Theological Interpretation of Scripture
Date: September 20-21, 2023
This is a call for papers for the 2023 Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics. The Council is an academic study group for traditional dispensationalists although observers from other theological traditions are welcome to attend. All presenters must affirm traditional dispensationalism. This year’s focus is on the issue of theological interpretation of Scripture (TIS). This developing view within evangelicalism is viewed by some as a welcome approach to thinking through the meaning of biblical texts and the affirmation of various doctrines. Others see this as moving toward an abandonment of grammatical-historical interpretation. We hope you will join us for this important interaction. As usual, we desire not simply a theological debate but an evaluation of the hermeneutical and methodological positions involved as we engage in interaction about the theme. We want to answer “why” we hold the views we affirm as dispensationalists.
We may be asking specific individuals to do various topics as well as receiving your proposals. Off-topic proposals will be considered but those concerning the chosen theme will be reviewed first. All proposals with full title and descriptions (not more than 200 words) should be emailed to the Executive Director, Dr. Mike Stallard, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for topic proposals to be turned in is June 5, 2023. The entire Steering Committee of the Council will decide collectively which papers are accepted. This process usually does not take long. The deadline for presentation papers to be turned in is September 1, 2023 in order to be posted at the Council website.
Once again, this year there is a modest registration fee of $25 for the Council to help cover the costs of the meeting. Approved speakers for the conference do not have to pay the registration fee. Registration will be online at the Council website: http://www.dispensationalcouncil.org.
Topics that we are requesting members to consider are the following:
- The definition and limits of TIS
- Is TIS proper for interpreting Scripture or inappropriate?
- Does TIS recover an ancient approach to interpreting Scripture?
- Analysis of specific agenda-driven approaches to Scripture – some examples:
- Liberation Theology
- Christian Palestinian Liberation Theology
- Feminist Theology
- Black Theology
- Various Cult Groups
- Emerging Church
- Analysis of TIS as presented by various evangelical scholars such as Kevin Vanhoozer
- To what extent do all students of Scripture practice TIS out of necessity?
- Examples of TIS in the early Church Fathers
- Examples of TIS in the Middle Ages
- Examples of TIS in the Reformation
- To what extent can evangelicals practice grammatical-historical interpretation while doing TIS?
- Does the inclusion of a theological component to interpretation make the interpreter a practitioner of TIS?
- Can a traditional dispensationalist practice TIS?
- TIS as a response to historical-critical methodology
- The relationship of history and theology in interpretation
- Are those who follow a more creedal tradition automatically following TIS? To what extent is this good or problematic?
Other topics related to the theme are welcome as well. These are suggestions to help us think about the issues. It is important to note, that we would like for all presentations to be dealt with explicitly from a dispensational viewpoint. Why should dispensationalists be concerned about any of these themes?
As always, we will attempt to have an appropriate pastor’s panel to make sure our discussions stay grounded in concern for the local church. We will make every effort to livestream each plenary session.
Again, final papers are to be submitted to Dr. Stallard by September 1, 2023 at the email listed earlier. There will be no remuneration for presentation of papers. Council attendees need to provide their own transportation to the Council site. Information on area hotels will be provided on the Council website.