Thanks for the nice comments on my last post, and thanks to Mark for pointing out this piece defending a "hermeneutic of trust." The author is responding specifically to feminist deconstructions of the Bible, which he thinks go a little too far:
Sadly, our common history is marked by epidemic violence, including violence against women, children and the powerless. Certainly this violence is to be condemned, and interpreters of the Bible have good grounds for proclaiming such condemnation. The difficulty in which we find ourselves, however, is this: If the Bible itself, the revelatory, identity-defining text of the Christian community, is portrayed as oppressive, on what basis do we know God or relate to God? A corollary question has crucial implications for biblical interpretation: If the Bible is dangerous, on what ground do we stand in conducting a critique of scripture that will render it less harmful?
For Schüssler Fiorenza the answer to the latter question is clear: a feminist critical hermeneutic "does not appeal to the Bible as its primary source but begins with women’s own experience and vision of liberation." Experience (of a certain sort) is treated as unambiguously revelatory, and the Bible is critically scrutinized in its light. Regrettably, many practitioners of the hermeneutics of suspicion, and by no means only feminist interpreters, are remarkably credulous about the claims of experience. As a result, they endlessly critique the biblical texts but rarely get around to hearing scripture’s critique of us or hearing its message of grace.