The canon as corral

Eugene Peterson on the canon in his book Answering God:

The canon (the two testaments of sixty-six books that are authoritative for the Christian faith) is a corral, fencing in all the literary creatures conceived and born out of a common inspiration and that serve a common purpose. (The common inspiration is the Holy Spirit; the common purpose is salvation.) Many of these creatures bear little or no resemblance to each other. Some of them we don’t like at all. Others we become fond of and develop close friendships. But the canonical decision was that our preferences are not determinative in these matters: all the creatures are related in some way or other to all the others, and each in its own way serves the common purpose. Each is necessary, but none is complete in itself. Each must be used (interpreted) in the light of all the others. It is not permitted to take one of the creatures out of the corral, leaving all the others behind, and ride out across the prairies sentimentally into the sunset, search for conditions congenial to sublimity. There is no gate in the corral fence.


3 thoughts on “The canon as corral

  1. What a great image. I will use that. Thank you. If I’m not mistaken Eugene Peterson studied under Robert Traina, author of “Methodical Bible Study,” and long-time English Bible professor at . . . Asbury Seminary.

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