I've never used the TSK, but I admit that I scoffed inside as I read Sanders' explanation of the book. The hermeneutical elitist in me thought, "That sounds like out-moded, Fundy, simpleton Bible study that I'm well beyond, what with my commentary language that discuss historical backgrounds and original languages in scholarly detail..." I might have even stopped reading if Fred Sanders (who is a real live super-genius, if you didn't know) wasn't the one who had written it.
Here is the paragraph that pulled me off my pedestal:
- In our time, Christian theologians are praising canonical readings, the theological interpretation of Scripture, and lectio divina with varying levels of trendiness. Richard Hays has argued persuasively that a resonant canonical memory is necessary for the proper interpretation of the Bible. The TSK was a tool for carrying out all of these projects at the level of Fundamentalist Bible readings. Christians of our day can hardly claim to have advanced beyond what our grandparents were capable of doing with the TSK in hand. The TSK is for serious Bible students without specialist training; it presupposes, validates, and reinforces the twin theological claims that the canon is the most relevant (and the only mandatory) context for understanding scripture, and that scripture is self-interpreting.
How well would I understand the Bible, how good would my preaching and teaching get, and how saturated would my mind be with the whole counsel of Scripture if I disciplined myself to study with the TSK at hand? As Sanders says, the TSK is for "serious students without specialist training". Specialist training or not, the study will be serious. I figure it's at least worth a shot, right?