that we need to recover the sense in which the Gospels are testimony. This does not mean that they are testimony rather than history. It means that the kind of historiography they are is testimony. An irreducible feature of testimony as a form of human utterance is that it asks to be trusted. This does not mean that it asks to be trusted uncritically, but it does mean that testimony should not be treated as credible only to the extent that it can be independently verified. There can be good reasons for trusting or distrusting a witness, but these are precisely reasons for trusting or distrusting. Trusting testimony is not an irrational act of faith that leaves critical rationality aside; it is, on the contrary, the rationally appropriate way of responding to authentic testimony. . . . It is true that a powerful trend in the modern development of critical historical philosophy and method finds trusting testimony a stumbling-block in the way of the historian’s autonomous access to truth that she or he can verify independently. But it is also a rather neglected fact that all history, like all knowledge, relies on testimony. (5; italics original)
Thus, it is perhaps not without irony that we find ourselves still under the sway of a certain kind(s) of testimony even when we seek most to avoid or to exercise our independence from testimony of some other kind(s) (cf. Gadamer, Truth and Method, 354; Lewis, “Meditation in a Toolshed,” 215).
If you can’t make it to ETS, however, there is now a next-best option. We are sponsoring live webcasts of all plenary speakers, including E. Calvin Beisner, Russell Moore, Richard Bauckham, and Douglas Moo. Visit www.LiveStream.com/ZondervanAcademic to RSVP and get reminders.
Particulars about the plenary sessions, including scheduling, can be found by searching for “plenary session” in the “session information and indexes” program section PDF available via the ETS website.
The Bible and Christian tradition have, at best, offered an ambiguous word in response to Earth’s environmental difficulties. At worst, a complex, often one-sided history of interpretation has left the Bible’s voice silent. Aiming to bridge these gaps, Richard Bauckham mines scripture and theology, discovering a firm command for Christians to care for all of God’s creation and then discusses the generations of theologians who have sought to live out this biblical mandate. Going beyond Old Testament human dominion, Living with Other Creatures consults scripture in its entirety and includes Jesus’ perspectives on creation, novel approaches to reading the gospels, and some of the most well-known “ecologists” throughout Christian history. The result is an innovative and enriching treatise that reminds readers of Gods whole creation—and humanity’s place within it.