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“To relish the feast that is Scripture, we need to use multiple models.”
A Christian never gains all that Scripture offers by reading it with just one approach. Yet too often this is attempted—whether through an academic obsession with the historical-critical method or through a consumerist approach that seeks only the motivation of the moment. Mark Reasoner broadens the options for scriptural engagement by describing five models of Scripture: documents, stories, prayers, laws, and oracles. To illustrate each, he uses examples from throughout the history of interpretation. While he concedes that certain books of the Bible will naturally lend themselves to particular models, Reasoner shows how an appreciation for all five will enrich one’s scriptural insights while also bridging divides between the various branches of the Christian family.
In addition to the five models, Reasoner surveys Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant constructions of the biblical canon and addresses specific issues relevant to their respective interpretations of Scripture, including scriptural metanarratives, the use of the Bible in Christian worship, and the principle of sola Scriptura. Through it all, Reasoner remains unequivocally focused on his goal: “to help readers grow in their love for Scripture in ways that will help them plant this love in those to whom they minister.”