Christians organize their life around different authorities and different activities. But, whenever one source becomes a pominient one, then we are headed for disaster. This is the case for the Chirstian Protestant evangleical Church, which interprets Scripture as their prime source of authority.
Christian scholars seek to understand the original meaning of the text, and in doing so they must use reason in addressing the questions of context, social history, and cultural history. I think that whenever we assume that the text is undestood in a certain traditional way (as Christian Scripture, for instance), without understanding how modern scholarship has come to understand the text(s) with their new investigative tools, then we are doomed to live within traditional frames, which limit reason's discovery for a new age.
Throughout Church history, the Church has sought to understand the Scriptures, and what Christ's life meant, this was done within the text in polemics and without the text, in apologetics. Tradition was what formulated around the text and became it's meaning. Today's apology cannot disregard scholarship, which is scientific investigation into sources, and meaningful dialogue with a diverse understanding of these issues.
Today's scholarship uses many "tools" in ascertaing what the text meant in ancient historical realms...
Ancient history is a valid area of "discovery", not just within the text alone, otherwise, we create a system of understanding that is not its original meaning nor intent, as ancient Greek values, ancient myths, etc. were incorporated into the Scripture, which was man seeking to make meaning and create value to and for his life...
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