Sunday, 15 November 2015
Canon and Biblical Interpretation (Scripture and Hermeneutics Series - Volume 7),
Ed. Craig Bartholomew, Scott Hahn, Robin Parry, Christopher Seitz, Al Wolters, Paternoster, 2006,
Chapter 4 "The Gospels Within the New Testament Canon" (pp. 123-145), page 130
Eugene E. Lemico (Professor, in 2006, of New Testament at Seattle Pacific University) is writing about the role and canonical function of the gospels within theNew Testament Canon. His position in general has been that the gospels precede the letters deliberately in order to balance the letters. Under the subheading, 'Following Jesus', Lemico says:
All four gospels present Jesus calling his disciples ('student-learners') to follow him. The Synoptic Gospels universally prefer this language as the way of relating to their Teacher. Never are they called 'believers'; nor are they ever called to believe 'in him'.
Lemico footnotes his last sentence to exclude Matthew 18:6 as the one exception to what he calls 'the otherwise profound consistency' of the Synoptic Gospels on this point.
Apart from the surprise the assertion generates - what is his point?
Such awareness provides a corrective counterpoint to those who appeal to the Fourth Gospel or Pauline literature to justify relating to Jesus primarily in terms of faith.
Pointing out that the idea of "faith alone" can lead to either intellectualism or passivity, Lemico claims that:
No so with following - the daily activity of putting one foot in front of the other in the direction of one's Lord.