I find that this essay almost makes an idol of the biblical text. It portrays it as a book to be studied in a closed system, with suspension of much of what we would bring to the studies of other texts…ancient, or otherwise. It’s an a priori lens brought to the Bible from outside the Bible, that isn’t even logical.
This approach leaves people reading text such as Genesis 1 in a huge quandary when the realization comes that the ancient Hebrews believed that the universe was earth centric, that the sky was some type of dome with the heavenly bodies hung from it, that it was held up by pillars, that it served to separate the waters of chaos above from the waters below, thus protecting humans in the land, that somehow there were three literal twenty four hour days before the sun appeared in the sky dome, that the story has all the characteristics of a temple construction/inauguration narrative, etc.
Without the tools of some form of critical method to understand how an ancient text such as this worked within and communicated to its original audience within its own cultural river, we’re lost in a sea of confusion. This is where the religion/science debate breaks down, because the text isn’t dealt with in its original setting, within its own cultural matrix and assumptions. Thus, it is assumed that God was communicating scientific truth as we understand science about origins, when it is clear that this wasn’t the intention of the author, or the text at all.
The Bible was written for us, but not to us. I believe that this is a distinction that must be made if we are not to distort how it communicates truth. It is why even the handling of apocalyptic in a type of preterist fashion works. It preserves the integrity of the message to its original audience, it shows that God, through inspired writers, was communicating to the audience in ways they understood in their time and culture (otherwise, God was a poor communicator to them), and it still retains principles and its authority in the application of those principles to our lives today.
Finally, I don’t believe that one must reject critical methods because of conclusions drawn by practitioners such as the NT writers misinterpreted the OT in their application of texts messianically. The NT writers engaged in midrash, a Jewish interpretive method that was acceptable and common practice at the time. They experienced Jesus as messiah through the power of the spirit, came to view the OT in a brand new light, and reread the entire story of Israel in the light of Jesus, using midrash in their rereading of the story and the text. Such a conclusion is not necessarily an inevitable outcome of the method.
If one must articulate a hermeneutic through which to view the Bible, it would be through the lens of Jesus of Nazareth, and the gospel of the kingdom of God as seen in his life, death, resurrection, and reign. The NT writers said as much.