Global Missiology English, Vol 2, No 2 (2005)

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THE PARADIGM & PRESSING ISSUES

Text Box: 1THE PARADIGM & PRESSING ISSUES
OF INTER-DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Enoch Wan

Chair, Division of Intercultural Studies and Director, Doctor of Missiology Program,

Western Seminary, Portland, Oregon, USA

Published in Global Missiology, Research Methodology, January 2005, www.globalmissiology.net

INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................................... 1

OBSERVATION OF DISCIPLINARY MYOPIA AND ITS CONSEQUENCE.............................................. 2

ANTICIPATION OF NEW CHALLENGES AT THE MILLENNIAL CROSS-ROAD.................................... 3

THE CHALLENGES IN INTER-DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH METHODOLOGY....................................... 4

THE ADVANTAGES OF INTER-DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH METHODOLOGY...................................... 4

COMPARING THE EVANGELICAL AND NON-EVANGELICAL RESEARCH ORIENTATIONS................. 5

Figure 1 - Evangelical and Non-evangelical Research Orientations................................................................................... 5

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF EVANGELICAL AND NON-EVANGELICAL RESEARCH

METHODOLOGY.............................................................................................................................. 6

Figure Q - Evangelical and Non-evangelical Research Methodology: General................................................................. 7

EXPLANATION AND ILLUSTRATION OF INTER-DISCIPLINARY EVANGELICAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY    8
Figure 3 V COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF EVANGELICAL AND NON-EVANGELICAL

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY V CASE STUDY ON TRUTH............................................................................................................................................................ 8
Figure 4 - EXPLANATION OF EVANGELICAL INTER-DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Figure 5 - Illustration of Evangelical Inter-disciplinary Methodology............................................................................. 11

Figure 6 - Illustrations in Integrative Missiological Research......................................................................................... 13

PROPOSAL FOR COOPERATION OF EVANGELICAL SCHOLARS IN INTER-DISCIPLINARY

RESEARCH.................................................................................................................................... 14

CONCLUSION................................................................................................................................ 14

WORKS CONSULTED..................................................................................................................... 14

I.       INTRODUCTION

1.1                                      The purpose of the paper is to explain the why and how of evangelical inter‑

disciplinary research methodology.

1.2                             Proposed definition of several key terms are listed below:

Epistemological:

The quest for rational foundations (in theory of knowledge) for theological as well any claim to truth. (See, The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought, edited by Alister E. McGrath, 1993.)


Hermeneutical:

From hermeneutics, (Gr. hermeneuo: to interpret). It is the theory of interpretation. Recently, in the narrow sense, it has come to mean the study of rules or principles for the interpretation of particular texts. In its broader sense, however, it means the interpretation and understanding of any act of communication, whether written or oral, verbal or non-verbal (such as symbols or symbolic acts). As applied to other fields of knowledge, hermeneutics deals with nature of language, meaning, communication and understanding. (See, New Dictionary of Theology, 1987).

Inter-disciplinary research:

-academic and systematic study conducted by using elements (e.g. theory, methodology, etc.) from one or more disciplines in the attempt to achieve a high degree of coherence or unity.

Paradigm:

- the perceptual perspective, conceptual framework or scientific model of reality. (Wan 1998:3, cf. Bosch 1996:184-185)

There are three levels: macro-paradigm (paradigm of universal acceptance and well established in all fields of knowledge, i.e., the enlightenment would be a macro-paradigm), meso-paradigm(paradigm of partial acceptance), and micro-paradigm(paradigm of acceptance in a particular context that may not be accepted in a given different context). (Bosch 1996, 185).

Research Methodology:

ways and approaches employed in academic and systematic study.

Theory:

-a set of interrelated hypotheses which constitute a tentative explanation of a complex phenomenon of reality.

1.3                                                   The plan of organization:

The two-fold purpose of the paper is to be achieved by a brief review of the negative consequences of the lack of inter-disciplinary integration in research methodology (the why) and to propose to evangelical scholars (the how) an alternative way (i.e. inter-disciplinary research methodology) which is

theologically sound, theoretically coherent and cross-disciplinary applicable.


Text Box: 2II. OBSERVATION OF DISCIPLINARY MYOPIA AND ITS


Text Box: 3CONSEQUENCE

There are seven socio-cultural phenomena of negative nature due to the out-come educational goal of producing specialist and the resultant disciplinary myopia:

2.1                 absence of the cultivation of the whole person with holistic perspective and

healthy temperament (e.g. curricular problems of the public school system);

2.2      being succumbed to technological domination (e.g. biological engineering over
ethics; population control over human values);

2.3                   cultural irrelevance of scholarship: (e.g. training of expert instead of cultivation of

personhood and holistic learning);

2.4              disciplinary rivalry (e.g. sciences vs. humanities);

2.5                  ethical confusion: scientific accomplishment in science and technology (such as

organ transplant, cloning, etc.) surpasses ethical formulation;

2.6                  fragmentation of knowledge (e.g. modern specialist vs. traditional scholars,

technocrat vs. administrator) with a distorted view of reality (i.e. compartmentalized mind set, tunnel vision, etc.);

2.7                     giving into the dehumanizing and depersonalizing forces of contemporary society

(e.g. the critique of the Marxist, feminist, liberation theologians, etc.).

III. ANTICIPATION OF NEW CHALLENGES AT THE MILLENNIAL CROSS-ROAD

There are seven kinds of challenge at the closing of the 20th Century that would call for evangelical cooperative inter-disciplinary research (i.e. 5 external + 2 internal):

3.1                  postmodernist orientation & the tyranny of the "tolerance principle;

3.2                 pluralistic landscape & anti-Christian / anti-establishment sentiment;

3.3                 popularity of "hard sciences" at the expense of the traditional studies, e.g.

humanities, theological studies, etc.)

3.4                   promising bio-medical engineering, run-away technological advancement, and

rapid socio-cultural changes;

3.5               powerful and pervasive forces such as New Age Movement, gay & lesbian

movement, environmental activist groups, Easternization (e.g. the increasing popularity of homeopathic medicine and acupuncture), etc.;

3.6                   polarization of evangelical scholars: the great divide of liberal vs. conservative

(e.g. the "wider mercy of God") / charismatic vs. "frozen chosen," the inerrancy debate, the "millenarian fever, the third wave, (including debates on spiritual

warfare mentality, the merits of territorial spirits approach),etc.;


Text Box: 43.7                                         power struggle among the intellectual elites of evangelical scholarship that are

polarized by disciplinary differences, denominational division, etc. that would prevent genuine cooperation and collaboration of the best scholarship from various disciplines.

Organizations such as ETS/EMS/EPS are the ideal venues for inter-disciplinary cooperative efforts of evangelical scholars/researchers to demonstrate the spirit of unity and to make significant contributions in the kairos moment of human history.

IV.             THE CHALLENGES IN INTER-DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

As much as one is committed to inter-disciplinary research methodology, if not done properly it will cause the following problems:

4.1 theoretical incoherence

When not well integrated it could lead to eclectic staggering of elements that are not dynamically connected and synthetically interacting.

4.2 methodological imbalance:

The discipline with better development and more powerful approaches may
absorb the others without true dynamic interaction and coherent integration.

4.3 practical difficulty:

In the long path towards genuine inter-disciplinary research, practical problems such as mutual suspicions, disciplinary rivalry, methodological contention, etc. will prevent true integration.

Unless hindrances (e.g. barriers and divisions) are removed and problems solved; practical difficulty will hinder the process and pursuit of cooperative inter-disciplinary research.

V.                  THE ADVANTAGES OF INTER-DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

There can be three advantages to the use of inter-disciplinary research methodology:

5.1 disciplinary synergism:

It integrates into a macro-paradigm what otherwise is a set of independent disciplines of study. The researcher is enabled to widen the scope of knowledge and is opened to see the whole in which the parts interact together for a more


Text Box: 5holistic understanding of reality and better theoretical formulations about that reality.

5.2 mutual enrichment:

There is potential for a mutual enrichment among the disciplines which enter in a dynamic interaction. This enrichment would eventually mean a mutual borrowing, questioning, and reformulating of what constituted an individual discipline=s method before entering into dynamic interaction. This process sharpens the precision of a research undertaking, thus securing results that are more systematic and closer to the reality of the subject matter under research.

5.3 research advancement:

This integrated inter-disciplinary approach in research processes, would also secure the right adjustments to problem solving and theoretical proposals for the explanation of phenomena under research. This in turn will increase the acuteness of implementing new paradigms into particular fields of practice or knowledge.

In addition, the reality of the vastness of the created order, the diversity of human culture, the complexity of life, etc. requires that comprehensive and coherent understanding be informed by the findings of multiple disciplines and various fields.

VI. COMPARING THE EVANGELICAL AND NON-EVANGELICAL RESEARCH ORIENTATIONS

The research orientations of evangelical and non-evangelical can be compared in terms of hermeneutical, theological and methodological features as shown in Figure 1 below:

Figure 1 - Evangelical and Non-evangelical Research Orientations

 

TYPE

NON-EVANGELICAL

EVANGELICAL

FEATURE

 

 

Hermeneutical

The context (reality) determines the meaning and

The biblical text interpreted by the analogy of Scripture must

 

application of truth

be applied to the reality to which it addresses.

 

The biblical text has different layers of meaning and

The biblical text has only one meaning, and that meaning is

 

the reader /interpreter plays a decisive role.

the one intended by the biblical author inspired by the Holy

 

 

Spirit.

 

Biblical interpretation, and also the text itself are

Though given through human agency, the Scriptures is the

 

relative.

absolute authority.


Text Box: 6

Theological

Science and reason (not the biblical truth alone) provide sure basis of epistemology

High view of Scripture (over tradition) High view of grace (over human efforts) High view of faith (over human reason)

Methodological

The scientific method is the only method that is conducive to truth.

Spiritual reality and Christian presuppositions are relevant to methodology

 

VII. COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF EVANGELICAL AND NON-EVANGELICAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The description (see figure 2 below) of the epistemological, theological, and hermeneutical aspects of non-evangelical research is based on the official documents of the World Council of churches (WCC) after the Sixth Assembly (24 July-10 August 1983, Theme: Jesus Christ the life of the world in Vancouver) and Seventh Assembly (February 7-20 1991, Theme: Come Holy Spirit- Renew the whole creation in Canberra).

Three documents have been used to identify the epistemological, theological, and hermeneutical method of evangelical research, respectively they are: the Willowbank Report, the Lausanne Covenant and the Chicago Statement as shown in Figure 2 below.


Text Box: 7Figure 2 - Evangelical and Non-evangelical Research Methodology: General

 

TYPE

FEATURE

NON-EVANGELICAL

EVANGELICAL

epistemo- logical difference

-Truth is plurality, diversity, and dialogical (The Ecumenical Review

-Truth begins with the work of the inspiration and the illumination of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit reveals the application of God's truth to personal and church life (The Willwobank Report, parag. 8, e).

-Gaining truth is to understand (The Willowbank Report, parag. 8), to interpret (The Willowbank Report, parag. 4), to communicate (The Willowbank Report, parag. 6) the personal and self-disclosure of God in the bible.

-Affirms the finality and permanent normativeness of Scripture. (The Willowbank Report, parag. 8, c & d), The continuing work of illumination and the closed work of inspiration of the Holy Spirit influence on both in every conversion and in the life of the Christian and the church (The Willowbank Report, parag. 8, e).

-Affirms that the communication of gospel leads to the transformation of life in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities ( The Willowbank Report parag. 8, d).

vol. 47, No.4, October 1996, pp. 490-602).

It begins with the practice of dialogue (The Ecumenical Review vol. 47,

No.4, p. 498)

-Knowledge of reality (the world) influence on being the church: a house of living stones. This is the foundation of WCC. See AReport of the General Secretary (RGS)@ Philip Potter. In Gathered for life: Official

report VI. General Assembly World Council of Churches, edited by

David Gill, 1988. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans (Vancouver 24 July-10 August 1988 (sixth Assembly). Theme: AJesus Christ the life of the world@)

-Knowledge of the reality and the Bible must lead to public action, i.e., Sharing justice and peace, (RGS Philip Potter 1988). See also Report of

the General Secretary of WCC, Konrad Raiser September 1977. The

Ecumenical Review, vol 48 (1996), pp. 494-614.

(Canberra, February 7 - 20 1991, seventh Assembly. Theme: ACome Holy Spirit-Renew the whole creation@)

theological distinctive- ness

-Doing theology is an ecumenic activity. Jacques Nicole. 1996. "Unlearning in order to learn: Towards an Ecumenical theological formation." The Ecumenical Review, vol. 48, No.4., October 1996, pp.

-Found on the faith that God's will and plan for human is that A has been calling out from the world a people for himself, and sending his people back into the world to be his servant and his witnesses, for the extension of this kingdom, the building up of Christ's body, and the glory of his name.@ (The Lausanne Covenant, parag. 8)

-Social responsibility is the result of transformation of life by the good news (The Lausanne Covenant, parag. 6).

-Affirm that evangelism and social-political involvement are both part of our Christianity (The Lausanne Covenant, parag.6).

-Christian presence in the world is indispensable to evangelism (The Lausanne Covanent, parag.4).

-To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sin and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, and that as the reigning Lord he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gift of the Spirit to all who repent and believe (The Lausanne Covenant, parag. 4). -Affirm the visibility of church in truth, and evangelism of the gospel of reconciliation summons us in unity. (The Lausanne Covenant ,parag. 7).

476-606. (See RGS, Emilio Castro. See RGS, Emiulio Castro. 1991. In
Signs of the Spirit, official report seventh assembly, edited by Michael

Kinnamon. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.)

-The call to the unity of the church under Ecumenical formation and to fulfill the cosmic vision of the new heaven and the new earth. The

Ecumenical Review, vol. 48, No.4 ., October 1996, p. 448.

-Reflection and political action in the face of new global ideological projects. Resisting globalization as an ideological project. Report of the General Secretary of WCC, Konrad Raiser September 1977. The Ecumenical Review, vol 48 (1996), pp. 494-614.

-Common witness to the whole Christian faith, stop proselytism. The challenge of proselytism and the call into to common Christian witness. The Ecumenical Review, vol. 48, No.2. pp. 212-221.

 

hermeneu- tical

principle

Focus on ethnicity with an existential and contextual approach. Konrad Raiser. 1996. WCC Central Committee, Report of the general secretary. The Ecumenical Review, vol 49 (1997): 86-107

Focus on justice, peace and integrity of creation for the next millennium (idem).

Scripture is true (The Chicago Statement, parag. XI), should always be interpreted on the basis that it is infallible and inerrant (The Chicago Statement, parag. XII).

Focus on "Grammatico-historical exegesis" and "Scripture is to interpret Scripture" (The Chicago Statement, parag. XVIII).

Focus on the authority of the Bible, deny the authority of Aindependent reason@ over the authority of the Bible (The Chicago Statement, inerrancy and authority).

Christ and Scripture coalesce into a single fount of authority. The Biblically-interpreted Christ and the Christ-centered, Christ-proclaiming Bible are from this standpoint one.


Text Box: 8VIII. EXPLANATION AND ILLUSTRATION OF INTER­DISCIPLINARY EVANGELICAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Figure 3 V COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF EVANGELICAL AND NON-EVANGELICAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY V CASE STUDY ON TRUTH

Layer

Level

LOCATION IN THE CONTINUUM

A. . . . .   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B

Center: "what?"

epistem- ological assump- tion:

What is
truth?

-propositional.......................................

Packer, J.I. 1988. The substance of truth in the present age. Crux, vol.34, No. 1. March. Propositional: There is a

VS ........................................................ . . .         existential

(personal/relational)

Treschow, Micahel. 1988. The comfort of truth Crux 34, No. 2.

public universal truth. Truth is revealed reality (p.8) Leffel, Jim. 1996. Our old challenge: Modernism. In The death of truth. Ed. By Dennis Maccallum. MN: Bethany House Publisher.

March

--conceptual.............................................................

Lindbeck, Beorge A. 1984. The nature of Doctrine: religion

VS......................................................................... concrete

Bloesch, I. Donald. 1971. The ground of certainty; Toward an

and theology in a postliberal age. PA: The Westminster

Evangelical Theology of Revelation. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Press pp63-69. Truth is propositional, symbolic and categorical.

 

-absolute.................................................................

Henry, Carl. 1976-83. God, Revelation and authority. Vol.

VS..................................................................... relative

Tracy, David. 1978. Blessed rage for order, NY: The Seabury

1-6. Waco: Work.

Press.

Schaeffer, Francis A. 1982. The complete works of Francis

A. Schaeffer, Vol. 1`-5. Westchester: Crossway.

 

core: "how?"

hermene- utical assump- tion:

How to Appro­Priatetruth?

-literal .............................................................

(a) Jewish Peshat. (Abraham ben Meir ibn Exra, b 1069, d.1164. Commentary on the Pentateuch. 1988. Translated

VS.................................................................. allegorical

Allegorical: Philo. of Alexandria

by H. Norma Strickman. NY: Menorah Publishing Company, Inc.

(b) Protestant reformed tradition (specially Calvin Commentaries and the Institutes)

-historical............................................................

Julius Welshausen. 1957. Prolegomena to the history of

VS................................................................. contextual

Thiselton, Anthony. 1984. The two horizons: new Testament

ancient Israel. NY: Merdian Books.

hermeneutics and philosophical description. Grand Rapids:

 

Eerdmans.

-Critical....................................................................

Childs, Brevard.

1970. Biblical theology in crisis. Philadelphia: Westminster.

VS............................................................. epistemological

Van Til, E. Cornelius

1975. A Christian theory of knowledge. Philadelphia:

1979. Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture.

Presbyterian and Reformed.

1977. A survey of Christian Epistemology: A survey of Christian

Philadelphia: Fortress Press.

Epistemology. Nutley, NJ.: Presbyterian and Reformed.

 

corr
elat

thematic circle /

methodo

-focus .................................................................

B.B. Warfield Biblical and theological studies

VS.................................................................. peripheral

Barr, James. 1987. Comparative philology and the text of the Old

Testament. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbraus.

 


Text Box: 9

 

-stem..................................................................

Lewis, Gordon R., Demarest Bruce A. Integrative theology.

VS ....................................................................... cluster

Erickson, Millard. 1986. Christian theology. Grand Rapids:

Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Corduan, Winfried. 1997. No doubt about it: The case for

Zondervan.

Christianity. Nashville: Broadman and Holman Publishers.

 

-uni-directional/ unidimensional..............................

Louis Berkhof..1946. Systematic theology . Grand Rapids:

VS........................... multi-directional / multi-dimensional

Carson, D.A. 1996. The gaging of God. Grand Rapids;

Eerdmans.

Zondervan.

Poythress, Vern, 1987. Sumphonic theology: the validity of

multiple perspectives in theology. Grand Rapids. Zondervan.

Vanhoozer, Kevin J. 1998. Is there a meaning in this text? The

Bible, the reader and the morality of literary knowledge. Grand

Rapids: Zondervan.

 

The following is a case study on truth to explain and illustrate evangelical inter-disciplinary research methodology. There can be three layers to the matter: the center, the core and the correlate. As shown in Figure 3 below at each level, there is a different method of assumption, e.g., epistemological (what is truth?), hermeneutical (How to appropriate truth?) and thematic circle/methodological complexity (what is the scope of truth claim and how to support ones truth claim?).

Each level of research can be subdivided into three categories and each category can be diagramed in the form of a bipolar continuum (i.e., A and B at the right column in Figure 3). Researchers and publications are selected to represent the two opposite ends of the continuum. Due to the limitation of the present study, only a small number of evangelical authors are chosen to illustrate the broad scope and the diverse approaches in this case study on truth.

In the Bible, there are several dimensions of truth including: quality of proposition (2 Chr. 18:15, Ps 15:2, Prov. 8:7; 22:21; John 16:7, Rom. 9:1), quality of persons and things in general, truth can be classified into ultimate truth and other truth. Since God is is true and this truth is neither created nor finite. It is therefore the ultimate truth which is inseparable from the Triune God Himself. It is the very essence of His being, of His self-consciousness and of His loving action. For there is but one God who exists in three persons, sharing the same in essence. Of the Triune God, the Son is begotten of the Father and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. His self consciousness derives from His being, and the loving action depends on his being and self consciousness. Thus, the ultimate truth is both a matter of reality, of proposition, and of action as found in the incarnate and inscripturate Word of God (i.e. special revelation).

In addition to the ultimate truth, there is also other truth which is derived from the ultimate truth by fallen man based on his interpretation of the ultimate truth, his perception and conception of the creator and the created order. Since the understanding of reality should be holistic and comprehensive; neither an individual nor researcher of one discipline can claim to have the final, complete and absolute appropriation of truth. A unified and coherent understanding of any chosen focus or research requires information and input from multiple number of fields of knowledge (or disciplines) obtained through the use of multiple number of methodology.


Text Box: 10Using the matter of truth as a case in point, as shown in Figure 3, there are three layers and three levels. In answering the question, What is truth? there are three types of continuum. First, the continuum of propositional vs. existential. This denotes the understanding of truth either as an objective and rational reality: or a subjective, personal and relational reality. Second, the continuum of conceptual vs. concrete. In this continuum, truth is understood as either propositional, symbolic and categorical or as concrete as in the cases of the Incarnate Christ and the Inscripturated Word. Third, there is a continuum of absolute vs. relative. In this continuum, truth is understood as either revealed, absolute and objective: or as relative, subjective and cultural.

As to the question: How to appropriate truth? there are three types of continuum in the hermeneutical efforts of appropriating truth. The first continuum represents two different hermeneutical assumptions: the literal vs. allegorical. The second continuum is historical vs. contextual which begins from focusing on the historical understanding of truth and ends with the emphasis on the contextual understanding of the truth. The third continuum is critical vs. epistemological, i.e., either by critical method or by faith.

What is the scope of truth claim? There are three types of thematic continuum. First, the continuum of focus vs. peripheral, i.e., either by studying one focus of theme or by a multiplicity of themes or narrative due to the polymorphous character of truth. (See Lewis and Demarest 1987:45-58, listing truth: essential to spirituality, truth: the criterion of authentic spiritual experiences, truth: indispensable to distinctively Christian service.)

The second continuum is stem vs. cluster in terms of methodological complexity. In this continuum, the scope of related disciplines can be in the pattern of stem or cluster. The third continuum is from uni-directional / uni-dimensional to multi-directional/multi-dimensional in terms of methodological complexity. In this continuum, the research is conducted either uni­directionally or multi-directionally so that either a single discipline or multiple numbers of related disciplines is/are employed to support ones truth claim.

As shown in Figure 1, evangelical research is to be biblically based, hermeneutically sound and methodologically inter-disciplinary, Figure 4 outlines the procedures and process.

Figure 4 - EXPLANATION OF EVANGELICAL INTER-DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

LAYER

LEVEL & FOCUS

DISCIPLINE

CENTER

Textual: morphology

word study

critical study: literary Criticism

form criticism

historical criticism


Text Box: 11

CORE

Contextual:

-immediate

-individual book: e.g. Genesis, I Kings, Matthew, Acts, etc.

-history, literary, linguistics, etc.

-history, literary, linguistics, theology, history, archeology, anthropology, psychology, critical theory, sociology, communication, political science, philosophy, etc.

 

\

-same author: e.g. Johannine, Lukan, Pauline, etc

history, literary, linguistic, theoplogy, social, scientific disciplines, critical theory, etc.

 

- genre: wisdom literature, prophetic books, etc.

history, literal, linguistic, theology, etc.

 

 

-apologetics, archeology, literary, history, biblical

 

-canonical

theology, etc.

CORRELATION

Interdisciplinary:

critical theory + theology

biblical Exegesis + theological systematization

 

scientific paradigms + biblical hermeneutics history + theology

ethnohermeneutics + Inter-cultural hermeneutics

 

bible and anthropology

social sciences + theology

 

Text Box: METHODOLOGICAL PRIORITY	PRINCIPLE	PRECEDENT
	Assumption	Procedure	Researcher	Publication
		

Of the published works selected to illustrate evangelical inter-disciplinary methodology, the authors of Integrative Theology (Lewise & Demarest 1987:7-58) are more articulate in the necessity and methodology of inter-disciplinary approach. They proposed a six-step approach which has been closely followed in each chapter: the problem; historical hypothoses; biblical teaching; systematic formulation; apologetic interaction; and relevance for life and ministry.

In addition to the works cited in Figure 5, selected works are listed below in accordance to three categories: primary research (i.e. inter-disciplinary with integration), secondary research (i.e. integrative but not multidimensional enough) and peripheral research (i.e. prevalent single focus):

Figure 5 - Illustration of Evangelical Inter-disciplinary Methodology


Text Box: 12Primary

1.   God has created an orderly universe and controls it according to a coherent plan

2.   True scientific research cannot contradict Gods truth but confirm it.

Research proceeds by these three sets of assumptions

Research methodology (including the scientific method) proceeds by using systematic procedure & coherent thinking

D.F. Kelly
Poythress,

Lewis & Demarest

Creation and change, 1997

Science and Hermeneutics,

1996.

Integrative theology, 1987.

 

Secondary

1.       God has created also the secondary cause which is in operation.

2.       Supernatural phenomena cannot be subjected to the scientific method

through research process the second causes are established in nature & society.

John Frame

The doctrine of the

knowledge of God, 1987

 

Peripheral

1.   Scientific observation about natural phenomena must not become the rule for interpreting special revelation.

2.   Evangelical scholarship is an attempt to relate biblically revealed truth to various fields of knowledge.

Research methods are used as tools and not the norm for interpretation of special revelation.

Poythress

Science and Hermeneutics,

1996.

 

8.1               PRIMARY RESEARCH:

Barbour, Ian G. 1974. Myths, models and paradigms: A comparative study in science and religion. New York: Harper & Row.1

Exum, J. Cheryl and Clines, D.J.A., eds. 1993. The new literary criticism and the Hebrew Bible. Pennsylvania: Trinity Press International.

Gill, Robin. 1977. Theology and social structure. London: Nowbrays.

Poythress, Ver, 1987. Symphonic theology: the validity of multiple perspectives in theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Silva, Moisés. God, language and Scripture, reading the Bible in the light of general linguistics. The history of interpretation in the light of current issues. 1996. In Foundations of contemporary interpretation, pp. 1-89. Ed. By Mosies Silva. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

8.2 SECONDARY RESEARCH:

.

Kelly, Douglas F. 1997. Creation and change, genesis 1.1-2:4 in the light of changing scientific paradigms. Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications. See pp. 15-30.

Torrance, Tomas Forsyth. 1981. Christian theology and scientific culture. New York: Oxford University Press.

. 1981b. Divine and contingent order. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

'This work is post Khunian which endeavous to spell out the connections between sicience and religion at the methodological level.


Text Box: 13. 1982. Reality and evangelical theology. Philadelphia: Westminster.

Longman, Tremper III. 1996. Literary approaches to biblical interpretation. In Foundations of contemporary  interpretation, pp. 192. ed. By Mosies Silva.

8.3                PERIPHERAL RESEARCH:

Plaster, David R. 1989. The theological method of the early Princetonians. Th.D. dissertation:

Dallas Theological Seminary. See esp. chapters II, III and VI.

Note: The author analyzes the theological method of A.A. Hodge and Charles Hodge.

Barr, James. 1987. Comparative philology and the text of the Old Testament. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns.

Conn, Harvie M.. 1984. Eternal Word and changing worlds: Theology, anthropology and mission in trialogue. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Corduan, Winfried. 1984. Philosophical Presuppositions affecting biblical hermeneutics. In Hemrneutics, Inerrancy and the Bible, ed. Earl D. Radmacher and Robert D. Preus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

By nature and history, missiological research is realitvely more inter-disciplinary than other fields of evangelical enquiry thus several works are chosen in Figure 6 as illustrations.

Figure 6 - Illustrations in Integrative Missiological Research

AUTHOR

INTEGRATION

PUBLICATION

YEAR

MAIN FEATURES/AIMS

1.  

CHARLES KRAFT

communication theory and social Sciences with theology

Christianity in Culture

1984

*He attempts at multi disciplinary integration.

*Conceptually coherent with simplicity

* Betrays the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.

 

2.  CARSON

theology and philosophical pluralism and postmodernism

The Gaging of Go d:

1996

* Describes the main truths of postmodernism

*Describes the changes in Western culture

* Describes how Christian thought can interact with postmodernism

Christianity confronts

Pluralism

 

3.  

DAVID
BOSCH

philosophy of science, mission theology and

missions History

Transforming Mission:

1991

* Draws from philosophy of science: by applying Kuhn=s Progress of

Scientific Revolutions. And from Kung=s application of paradigm

Paradigm Shifts in Missions

shifts in Church History.

* Identifies the main six paradigms shifts in the history of theology of

Mission (see Appendix 1)

* Identifies the main influences of the Enlightenment in Christian

thinking (see Appendix 2)

Theology

 

4. MARK. B WOOD- HOUSE

Social Sciences, Philosophy, and Religion

Paradigm Wars: World

1996

*Proposes Aa larger integration vision@ through analyzing paradigm clusters into a dynamic interaction between complementary opposites@ *Identifies the ten most significant Atransforming challenges@ and the different responses by society, including religion (spiritual realm).

* Develops the concept of convergences of the different paradigms in Athe rising culture@ which is holistic.

Views for a New Age

 


Text Box: 14

5.

ENOCH WAN

Trinitarian theology and Anthropology

AA Critique of CHARLES Kraft=s Use/Misuse of Communication Theory and Social Sciences in Biblical Interpretation and

Missiological Formulation@

1996

* Purposes a symphonic approach to inter-disciplinary integration: a vari dynamic model.

* The Dynamic interaction is between the theo-culture/

homino-culture / angel-culture.

* This interaction has relevance for missiological research, theology and strategy.

 

IX.             PROPOSAL FOR COOPERATION OF EVANGELICAL SCHOLARS IN INTER-DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH

There are three types of basis for the cooperation and collaboration of evangelical scholars in inter-disciplinary research, i.e. motivation, means and motto: (3 + 3 +3)

In terms of motivation, evangelical scholars share in common: the cultural mandate (general), the Great Commission (specific), and the cultural war (as illustrated by the works of Dockery 1995, Huntington 1996, Woodhouse 1996).

There are three means for cooperation and collaboration: inter-disciplinary exploration, inter-institutional cooperation, and long-term research project and publication.

There are three mottoes for cooperation and collaboration: to the glory of the Father, in the

name of the Son and by the empowerment of the H.S., and on the foundation of Gods Word - the Bible.

X.               CONCLUSION

Evangelical researchers have been reminded in this brief study the necessity (the why?) of inter­disciplinary research methodology and have been introduced to ways (the how?) of doing it in terms of illustrations and explanation. This session being the first of a three-year series is a good start in this direction.

WORKS CONSULTED

Avis, Paul. 1986. The methods of modern theology. Besingstoke: Marshall Pickering.

Carnap, Rudolf. 1937 [reprint 1971]. The logical syntax of language. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. See especially pp 1B52.


Text Box: 15Barbour, Ian G. 1974. Myths, models and paradigms: A comparative study in science and religion. New York: Harper & Row.2

Barr, James. 1987. Comparative philology and the text of the Old Testament. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns.

Berger, Peter L., and Thomas Luckmann. 1966. The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. Garden City, New York: Doubleday.

The New Dictionary of Theology. Komonchak Joseph A, Collins Mary; Lane Dermot A. Michael Glazier Inc: Washington, 1987.

Burtt, Edwin A. 1974. The problem of theological method. Journal of Religion, 27/1: 1-15.

Cohen, Morris and Ernest Nagel. 1934. An introduction to Logic and scientific method. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc. See esp. Chapters I-XI.

Conn, Harvie M.. 1984. Eternal Word and changing worlds: Theology, anthropology and mission in trialogue. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Dilenberger, John. 1977. Protestant thought and Natural science: A historical interpretation. Wesport, Conn.: Greenwood.

Exum, J. Cheryl and Clines, D.J.A., eds. 1993. The new literary criticism and the Hebrew Bible. Pennsylvania: Trinity Press International.

Gill, Robin. 1977. Theology and social structure. London: Nowbrays.

Hekman, Susan J. 1983. Hermeneutics and sociology of knowledge. Notre dame: Notre Dame University Press.

Jones, Adam Leroy. 1909. Logic, Inductive and deductive: An introduction to scientific method. New York: Hendry Holt and Company. See esp. part I, pp. 13-186.

Kasper, Walter. 1969. The methods of dogmatic theology. New York: Paulist Press.

Kelly, Douglas F. 1997. Creation and change, genesis 1.1-2:4 in the light of changing scientific paradigms. Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications. See pp. 15-30.

Kuhn, thomas S. 1996[third edition]. The structure of scientific revolutions. The university of Chicago Press: Chicago and London. See especially pp. 1-23.

Lakeland, Paul. 1990. Theology and critical theory: The discourse of the church. Nashville: Abingdon Press. See

QThis work is post Khunian which endeavous to spell out the connections between sicience and religion at the methodological level.


Text Box: 16especially pp. 1-36

Longman, Tremper III. 1996. Literary approaches to biblical interpretation. In Foundations of contemporary interpretation, pp. 192. ed. By Mosies Silva.

Plaster, David R. 1989. The theological method of the early Princetonians. Th.D. dissertation: Dallas Theological Seminary. See esp. chapters II, III and VI.

Note: Te author analyzes the theological method of A.A. Hodge and Charles Hodge.

Popper, Karl R. 1963. Conjectures and refutations: The growth of scientific knowledge. New York, Hagerstown, San Francisco, London: Harper & Row, Publishers. See esp. pp. 33-119.

Poythress, Ver, 1987. Symphonic theology: the validity of multiple perspectives in theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Quine, W.V. 1950. Methods of logic. New York: Holt, Reinnhart and Winston, Inc. Schwartz, Thomas. 1980. The art of logical reasoning. New York: random House.

Silva, Moisés. Has the church misread the bible? The history of interpretation in the light of current issues. 1996. In Foundations of contemporary interpretation, pp. 1-89. Ed. By Mosies Silva. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Feinberg, John S. 1984. Truth: Relationship of theories of truth and hermeneutics. In Hemrneutics, Inerrancy and the Bible, ed. Earl D. Radmacher and Robert D. Preus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Corduan, Winfried. 1984. Philosophical Presuppositions affecting biblical hermeneutics. In Hemrneutics, Inerrancy and the Bible, ed. Earl D. Radmacher and Robert D. Preus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Erickson, Millard J. 1984. Presuppositions of non-evangelical hermeneutics. In Hemeneutics, Inerrancy and the Bible, ed. Earl D. Radmacher and Robert D. Preus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Ramm, Bernard. 1964. The Christian view of science and Scripture. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Rescher, Nicholas. 1977. Methodological pragmatism. New York: New York University Press.

Silva, Moisés. God, language and Scripture, reading the Bible in the light of general linguistics. The history of interpretation in the light of current issues. 1996. In Foundations of contemporary interpretation, pp. 1-89. Ed. By Mosies Silva. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Torrance, Tomas Forsyth. 1981. Christian theology and scientific culture. New York: Oxford University Press. . 1981b. Divine and contingent order. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

. 1982. Reality and evangelical theology. Philadelphia: Westminster.

. 1984. Transformation and convergence in the frame of knowledge. Grand Rapids:

Eerdmans.

Wan, Enoch. 1996. A critique of Charles Krafts use/misuse of communication theory and social sciences in Biblical interpretation and missiological formulation. In Missiology and the social sciences. Edited by Edward Rommen and


Text Box: 17Gray Corwin, pp. 121-164. Pasadena: William Carey Library.

WCC Joint Working Group. 1996. The challenge of Proselytism and the calling to common witness: A study document of the joint working group. The Ecumenical Review 48, No.2: 212-221.

White, James. 1994. What is truth? A comparative study. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman & Holman Pub. Woodhouse, Mark. 1996. Paradigm wars: Worldviews for a new age. Berkely, CA: Frog Ltd.

Editors Note: Republished with permission. Originally published through The Inter-disciplinary Evangelical Research Methodology Study Group for The 50th Anniversary of ETS @ Radisson Twin Towers, Orlando, Florida, Nov. 19-21, 1998.