D. A. Carson versteht es hervorragend, saubere Auslegung der Bibel mit aktuellen Herausforderungen unserer westlichen Länder zu verbinden. Ich lese mit Freude seine Auslegung zu 2. Korinther 10-13 (A Model of Christian Maturity: An Exposition of 2 Corinthians 10-13).
Er schreibt zur Rahmung dieser Kapitel:
We increasingly inhabit a time and place in Western history when humility is perceived to be a sign of weakness; when meekness is taken for a vice, not a virtue; when puff is more important than substance; when leadership, even in the church, frequently has more to do with politics, pizzazz, and showmanship, or with structure and hierarchy, than with spiritual maturity and conformity to Jesus Christ; when the budget is thought to be a more important indicator of ecclesiastical success than prayerfulness and when loose talk of spiritual experience wins an instant following, even when that talk is mingled with a scarcely concealed haughtiness that has learned neither humility nor tears. To Christians hungry to understand and repent of these evils, 2 Corinthians 10–13 speaks with rare power and passion.
In der Gemeinde von Korinth hatten sich damals hellenistisch trainierte Lehrer mit jüdischem Hintergrund und christlichem Gewand eingeschlichen. Die Merkmale: Eigene Kriterien für Geistlichkeit, rhetorische Kniffe, autoritäres Auftreten, visionärer Enthusiasmus. Die Parallelen zu heute liegen auf der Hand.
If an essential element of true spirituality is race, then it is not Christ’s cross-work and our consequent relationship to him that are determinative; if standards of rhetoric and the ability to command a purse are prime conditions for leadership in the church, then a servant mentality is depreciated (even though Christ himself displayed just such an attitude), and culturally bound standards of oratory usurp the place of unchanging and culture-transcendent truth; and if a display of the visionary’s enthusiasm is the sine qua non for advanced leadership, not only is the church vulnerable to fraudulent claims, but the claimants themselves are likely to glory more and more in the esoteric, and not in the sufficiency of the grace of Christ.
Carson spricht ein wichtiges Problem an: Unseren kulturell geprägten Subjektivismus. Wir wollen lieber die biblische Botschaft in diesen subjektivistischen Rahmen pressen als unsere tief eingewurzelten Denkvoraussetzungen aufgrund des Evangeliums verändern zu lassen.
(W)e live in an age of deeply ingrained subjectivism. We have been taught to think that it is somehow wrong, even evil, to say that another’s value system is false. The only absolute judgment widely endorsed by our society is that no absolute judgment is permissible. What suffers in this climate is truth—or, more precisely, the possibility of affirming the existence of any absolute truth. But conversely, if the gospel of Jesus Christ—all it provides and teaches and demands—is true, then that which opposes it is to that extent false.
… (R)elatively few individuals are willing to concede the moral limitations of their inherited values and learn to interpret them by an outside standard and if necessary curtail or abandon them. … (T)here will always be some who are controlled by a lightly “Christianized” version of their own culture: i.e., their controlling values spring from the inherited culture, even when such values are deeply pagan and not Christian.