The Word and the Spirit – Michael Welker’s Theological Hermeneutics PART I

Henco van der Westhuizen

Abstract


In this essay it will be argued that the biblical traditions, or the relation between the Spirit and the biblical traditions, can be understood as the basis, the seedbed, that on which Welker builds his realistic theology in general, and his theology of the Spirit in particular. Welker himself writes in his main work on the Spirit, Gottes Geist. Theologie des Heiligen Geistes, translated as God the Spirit, that the key trait of his theology is its biblical character. He even regards this work to be the first comprehensive biblical theology of the Spirit. This polemical motive in his theology, where a creative and truly complex conception of the Spirit is related explicitly to the biblical traditions, indeed, to the Word of God, will be clarified in the course of this essay. In the first part of this essay, it is shown that for Welker, the Word of God is not to be confused with the human word. In the light of the depth of the Spirit, this word is revealed to be deficient. Against the background of this differentiation the essay focuses on the biblical traditions, i.e. the Word of God. In order to understand Welker’s complex understanding of the Word of God, what he refers to as the fourfold weight of the biblical traditions is differentiated in the light of a general understanding of what could be conceived as a ‘biblical theology’.


Keywords


Michael Welker, The Spirit of God, The Biblical traditions, The Word of God, Pluralism.

References


BIBLIOGRAPHY

ASSMANN, J.

Das kulturelle Gedächtnis. Schrift, Erinnerung und Politische Identität in frühen Hochkulturen (München: Beck).

Fünf Stufen auf dem Wege zum Kanon. Tradition und Schriftkultur im frühen Judentum und in seiner Umwelt (Münster: Lit Verlag, 1999).

ECKSTEIN, H.J.

Das Evangelium Jesu Christi. Zur impliziten Kanonhermeneutik des Neuen Testaments. In: A. Schüle and G Thomas (Eds.) Gegenwart des lebendigen Christus (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt), p. 95-118.

HAMM, B & WELKER, M.

Die Reformation. Potentiale der Freiheit (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck).

JANOWSKI, B.

Die kontrastive Einheit der Schrift. Zur Hermeneutik des biblischen Kanons. In: A. Schüle and G Thomas (Eds.) Gegenwart des lebendigen Christus (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2007), p. 77-94.

JUEL, D.

The Project of a ‘Biblical Theology’ as a reshaping of the boundaries between systematic and exegetical theology. In: M. Welker and F. Schweitzer (Eds.) Reconsidering the Boundaries Between Theological Disciplines (Münster: Lit), p. 31-34.

MACCHIA, F.

A Pentecostal Perspective. In: J. Moltmann and K. Kuschel (Eds.) Pentecostal Movements as an Ecumenical Challenge (London: SCM Press), p. 63-69.

Discerning the Spirit in Life: a Review of God the Spirit by Michael Welker. Journal of Pentecostal Theology 5:3-28.

MILLER, P.D.

Closing Remarks. An Oral Response presented to the plenary attending the 1994 conference. In: C.L. Rigby (Ed.) Power, Powerlessness, and the Divine. New Inquiries in Bible and Theology (Atlanta: Scholars Press), p. 291-301.

Theology from below. The Theological Interpretation of Scripture. In: M. Welker and F. Schweitzer (Eds.) Reconsidering the Boundaries Between Theological Disciplines (Münster: Lit), p. 3-13.

OBERDORFER, B.

Biblisch-realistische Theologie. Methodologische Überlegungen zu einem dogmatischen Programm. In: S. Brandt and B. Oberdorfer (Eds.) Resonanzen. Theologische Beiträge: Michael Welker 50. Geburtstag (Wuppertal: Foedus-Verlag), p. 63- 83.

SCHWEIKER, W & WELKER, M.

A New Paradigm of Theological and Biblical Inquiry. In: C.L. Rigby (Ed.) Power, Powerlessness, and the Divine. New Inquiries in Bible and Theology (Atlanta: Scholars Press), p. 3-20.

STRAUSS, C.L.

The Savage Mind (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).

WELKER, M.

Vorwort (with Bernd Janowski) Jahrbuch für Biblische Theologie 1:5.

a. Reformierte Theologie heute - Reformierte Theologie am Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts. In: W. van’t Spijker (Ed.) Calvin. Erbe und Auftrag, FS Wilhelm Heinrich Neuser (Kampen: Pharos), p. 391-409.

Gottes Geist. Theologie des Heiligen Geistes (Neukirchener: Neukirchen-Vluyn).

a. Biblical Theology. II. Fundamental Theology In: H. Betz, D.S. Browning, B. Janowski, E. Jungel (Eds.) Religion Past and Present 2 (Leiden: Brill), p. 87-89.

b. Biblische Theologie. Fundamentaltheologisch. In: H. Betz, D.S. Browning, B. Janowski, E. Jungel (Eds.) RGG 4 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck Verlag), p. 1549-1553.

c. God the Spirit (Minneapolis: Fortress Press).

a. God’s Power and Powerlessness: Biblical Theology and the Search for a World Ethos in a Time of Shortlived Moral Markets. In: C.L. Rigby (Ed.) Power, Powerlessness, and the Divine. Atlanta: Scholars Press), p. 39-55.

a. Geist und Wort – Wort und Geist. Concilium 3:159-165.

b. Word and Spirit - Spirit and Word: A Protestant Response. Concilium 3:76-84.

c. Christliche Theologie - wohin an der Wende zum dritten Jahrtausend? In: C. Krieg (Ed.) Die Theologie auf dem Weg in das dritte Jahrtausend, FS Jürgen Moltmann zum 70. Geburtstag (Gütersloh: Kaiser, 1996), p. 105-125.

d. Christian Theology: What Direction at the End of the Second Millenium? In: M. Volf (Ed.) The Future of Theology, FS Jürgen Moltmann (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans), p. 76.

a. Dem Tun Gottes aufmerksam folgen. Der Christ in der gegenwärtigen Kultur. Evangelische Aspekte. 4-10.

b. Die evangelische Freiheit. Evangelische Theologie 57:68-73.

a. Elend und Auftrag der nach Gottes Wort reformierten Theologie am Beginn des dritten Jahrtausends. In: M. Welker and D. Willis (Eds.) Zur Zukunft der Reformierten Theologie. Aufgaben - Themen – Traditionen (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener), p. 173-190.

b. Travail and Mission: Theology Reformed According to God's Word at the Beginning of the Third Millenium. In: M. Welker and D. Willis (Eds.) Toward the Future of Reformed Theology. Tasks, Topics, Traditions (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans), p. 136-152.

c. Kanonisches Gedächtnis. Wie die Auferstehung Jesu im Abendmahl erfahren wird’ in Evangelische Kommentare 32:37-39.

d. Sozio-metaphysische Theologie und Biblische Theologie. Zu Eilert Herms: Was haben wir an der Bibel? Jahrbuch für Biblische Theologie 13:309-322.

e. Was geht vor beim Abendmahl? (Stuttgart: Quell).

a. The Tasks of Biblical Theology and the Authority of Scripture. In: W. Alston (Ed.) Theology in the Service of the Church, FS Thomas Gillespie (Eerdmans: Grand Rapids), p. 232-241.

b. Evangelisch sein am Beginn des dritten Jahrtausends. In: H.A. Müller (Ed.) Der Bildung ein Haus. Zwanzig Jahre Hospitalhof Stuttgart und Evangelisches Bildungswerk (Stuttgart: Edition Hospitalhof), p. 133-141.

c. Der Protestantismus in Kultur und Krise der Moderne. In: E. v. Vietinghoff and H. May (Eds.) Protestantismus im 21. Jahrhundert. Zum Verhältnis von Protestantismus und Kultur (Hannover: Lutherisches Verlagshaus), p. 151-174.

d. Warum brauchen pluralistische Gesellschaften christliche Theologie? In: E. Gräb (Ed.) Christentum und Spätmoderne. Ein internationaler Diskurs über Praktische Theologie und Ethik (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer), p. 10-26.

e. Resurrection and Eternal Life. The Canonic Memory of the Resurrected Christ, His Reality, and His Glory. In: J. Polkinghorne and M. Welker (Eds.) The End of the World and the Ends of God: Theology and Science on Eschatology (Harrisburg: Trinity Press), p. 279-290.

f. What Happens in Holy Communion? (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans).

a. Das vierfache Gewicht der Schrift. Die mißverständliche Rede vom ‘Schriftprinzip’ und die Programmformel ‘Biblische Theologie’ In: D. Hiller and C. Kress (Ed.) ‘Daß Gott eine große Barmherzigkeit habe’. Konkrete Theologie in der Verschränkung von Glaube und Leben, FS Gunda Schneider- Flume (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt), p. 9-27.

a. Sola Scriptura? The Authority of Scripture in Pluralistic Environments. In: B. Strawn (Ed.) A God So Near, FS Patrick D. Miller (Winona Lake: Eisenbrowns), p. 375-391.

b. The Body of Christ, Holy Communion, and Canonic Memory. Word and World 22:164-169.

a. Reformation Theology and the Reformed Profile. The Bulletin of the Institute for Reformed Theology 3:1,4-9,16.

a. Serving God in a Time When a Worldview Collapses: The Pastor-Theologian at the Beginning of the Third Millenium. In: M. Welker and C. Jarvis (Eds.) Loving God With One's Minds. The Pastor as Theologian, FS Wallace Alston (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans) p. 74-88.

a. Kommunikatives, kollektives, kulturelles und kanonisches Gedächtnis. Jahrbuch für Biblische Theologie 22:321-331.

a. Calvin’s Doctrine of the ‘Civil Government’: Its Orienting Power in Pluralism and Globalization. In: M. Welker (Ed.) Calvin Today: Reformed Theology and the Future of the Church (London and New York: T&T Clark), p. 206-214.

b. Public Responsibility – Introduction. In: M. Welker (Ed.) Calvin Today: Reformed Theology and the Future of the Church (London and New York: T&T Clark), p. 155-157.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


ISSN 2413-9467 (online); ISSN 2413-9459 (print)


© 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch.

No registration, article submission or processing fees apply.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. 

SUMMARY: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ 
FULL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode

Powered by OJS.