1. Theological commentary is a practice of commenting on Scripture. It is not an attempt to excavate the determinate meaning of the text, or make definitive statements about the text as such.
2. Theological commentary is theological. It is a practice of reading and interacting with Scripture from a distinctly Christian perspective that is fundamentally informed by Christian commitments to the triune God and the centrality of Jesus Christ.
3. Theological commentary is part of the church’s missional task. Commenting on Scripture is a way of holding Scripture “open” before oneself and the church as a whole, calling us into the story told therein. It is a way of situating ourselves within the story of God’s own trinitarian drama of salvation. As such theological commentary is a practice of attempting to find our place within God’s missional calling on his people.
4. Theological commentary is a discipline, the aim of which is to facilitate our own sanctification and transformation. There are many aims and ends of commenting on Scripture, but the immediate aim of theological commentary is to encounter the Word of God in the text of Scripture and in that encounter to be caught up more deeply into the communio that is the triune life of God.
5. Theological commentary is ecclesial in shape and practice. Commenting on Scripture theologically means doing so within the context of the church’s interpretive tradition and history. It likewise means doing so within the immediate communal setting of the local church which serves as the primary locus of testing and exploring claims and questions about Scripture.
6. Theological commentary is an offering to the church for consideration, dissection, correction, and edification. It is to be done in the mode of gifting, not in the mode of confrontation. Unlike the role of the preacher who is called to confront the church with the Word of God, theological commentary is a humble attempt to engage with the Word of God, not knowing how such engagement will turn out. It is prior to and grounds the practice of proclamation.
7. Theological commentary is not done rightly unless done in the context of doxology and prayer. The end of theological commentary is an ever-deepening union with the triune God through Christ. Such communion only occurs through being drawn, by the Spirit of Christ, into God’s life through the posture of worship.
8. Theological commentary is never finished in any sense whatsoever. In that Scripture participates in God’s economy of revelation and reconciliation, there is a plenitude to Scripture that precludes ever having come to the end of meditating on any and all of it. The depth of riches contained in Scripture can never be exhausted thought theological commentary or any other form of exegetical engagement with Scripture. Rather the Scriptures are penultimately inexhaustible, a place of living and dwelling that will never be fully explored prior to the consummation of all things in God.