From the interview on the CBD Academic blog:
Matthew: In your book, you state “this book, quixotic as it may seem, seeks to do for biblical theology what Kevin Vanhoozer has done for Hermeneutics and David Wells has done for evangelical theology” (38). Can you unpack this statement for us in direct relation to your project?
Hamilton: In my humble opinion, modern western culture is committing intellectual suicide.
In his book Is There a Meaning in This Text?, Kevin Vanhoozer lovingly seeks to intervene by patiently vindicating the idea that the task of interpreting a text is the task of seeking to understand what the author of a text meant to communicate (authorial intent). The idea of seeking an author’s intent has been slandered and maligned with all manner of sophisticated sounding logical and rhetorical fallacies from scoundrels who refuse to do unto others as they would have done unto themselves. When they write, they want to be interpreted according to their intent, but they would deny this privilege to the authors of the texts they distort and pervert with so much post-modern slime. Vanhoozer waded through all the muck, exposing logical and rhetorical fallacies and cutting a path for any who wish to follow him to the solid ground of virtuous interpretation.
In his book, No Place for Truth, David Wells shows how evangelicalism saw liberal protestantism committing intellectual suicide with western culture, felt left out, and tried to join the party. The problem is not so much that the big ideas of Christianity were challenged as it is that big ideas have become unfashionable. As a result, in many churches the big truths that make Christianity what it is are hidden away so that no one will be troubled with the unpleasant chore of being a thinking human. Wells is calling the church to help humans be what they are–image bearers of God endowed with faculties sufficient for knowing, experiencing, and worshiping God and his mysteries.
So I see Vanhoozer and Wells (and many others!) courageously, patiently, lovingly seeking to save the west, and I want to follow them as they follow Christ. People make all kinds of claims today about how diverse the theology of the Bible is, but what is so shocking about the Bible is its unity, not its diversity. So Vanhoozer engaged the battle for hermeneutics, Wells for evangelical theology, and I’m trying to join the fray on the biblical theological front (following in the footsteps of Tom Schreiner, Desi Alexander, Greg Beale, Stephen Dempster, and others). I don’t know if I’m worthy to stand with them, but I’m honored to seek to join these knights-errant as a fool for Christ’s sake seeking to steward the mysteries of God.