A Methodological “Confession”

Bless us, Father, for we have sinned. It has been 1600 years since Augustine’s Confessions, but we have forgotten that the true test for interpretive virtue is love for you and love for our neighbor. In our zeal to bring about unity we have neglected patience and the cultivation of interpretive virtues. We have instead placed our hopes in methodology and the power of unaided Reason. Mistakenly, we thought that your gift of reason needed not your guiding voice; we have thought that the hermeneutics of suspicion can reveal our sins and that the power of politics can correct them. We avail ourselves to the mercy and grace that is available through your Word, who is the apex, the τελος, and the interpretive key of your revelatory activity in the world. We submit ourselves to Him, and entreat you to work through your Spirit to confront us with your Word, so that we might stand subservient to Him, and not to Lord over Him as though He needed our methods. Help us to be circumspect and patient in the carrying out of our service as ministers of reconciliation.

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