I have been reading Grenz and Olson’s book, “Who Needs Theology?” and found that they have a nice section of contextual theology. The following is a quote addressing the question of whether contextualization of theology should start from the Bible, as opposed to starting from culture. (I am reading the Kindle version, so I don’t have the exact page):
Going to the Bible first is a helpful proposal, yet it poses one grave danger. In our quest to read and be faithful in Scripture, we may overlook our culture. We may not give sufficient attention to the questions people today are asking. As a result, our doctring— as biblical as it may appear to be— may in the end be irrelevant to the world in which God calls us to live as disciples. In short, our attempt to construct a biblical theology may short circuit our attempt to construct a biblical theology.Stanley J. Grenz and Roger E. Olson, Who Needs Theology? An Invitation to the Study of God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), chapter 7
Grenz and Olson later in the chapter support a “Trialogue” between Bible, Setting, and Church History. Quoting from later in the chapter, “How do we construct contextual theology? Our answer is: By bringing our understanding of Scripture, our cognizance of our heritage and our reading of our cultural context into creative trialogue.”
It is interesting, to me at least, that Stephen Bevans in his six modesl of contextualization, seemed to have a trialogue of Scripture, Culture, and Reflection. It is interesting to me because Bevans is a Catholic theologian and so would, presumably, take church heritage more seriously than Grenz and Olson. However, Bevans in speaking to a group of Catholic theologians (youtube video I saw) seemed to suggest that the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic church is somewhat of a obstacle to overome in contextualization. However, the Intertradionality of the Synthetic Contextualizaiton model may suggest the drawing on church history/heritage.