As I noted in the previous post, Thompson begins his article with some general, introductory observations about religious scholarship done by religiously-engaged people. It brings some dilemmas. He also refers, more specifically, to religious scholarship done by members of Churches of Christ.
Next, Thompson offers what he calls "A Proposal for Church of Christ Scholarship" (pp. 36-37). To give you the gist, I'll sometimes quote and at other times summarize. He writes:
"1. I suggest that the dominant feature of the tradition is a high eccelsiology that has framed our understanding of the Christian faith and separated this tradition from evangelicalism." That is to say, Church of Christ scholarship should highlight biblical forms, ideals, and practices of the church.
2. Church of Christ scholarship can best contribute to the wider world of scholarship and sound a harmonizing note by extending the traditional emphasis placed on the NT books of Acts, the Pastoral Epistles, and Hebrews.
3. Church of Christ scholarship ought to extend the tradition's emphasis on what the New Testament vouches for as legitimate forms of church life -- "believer's baptism, congregational polity, the authority of elders." Moreover, the ideal of restoration should be extended to include the goal of recapturing "the love, vitality, compassion, and mission of the early church."
4. While recognizing the limits of human reason, Church of Christ scholarship should appreciate that rational inquiry, as opposed to illumination by the Spirit, "has been a distinguishing feature the movement."
These commitments, says Thompson, can give us "a sense of continuity with our past." That, in a nutshell, is the middle section of his article.
So far, so good? What do you think?