ICS Calendar Title: Biblical Foundations

ICS Course Code: ICS 1108AC/2108AC F11

Instructor: Dr. Jim Olthuis

Term and Year: Mondays, 7:00pm-10:00pm, Fall 2011

Last Updated: August 31, 2011

Course Description

This course will explore the Bible as the ongoing chronicle of God’s love story with the creation, paying special attention to the way in which God’s story is entwined with history of humanity and the entire creation. In seeking to understand and discern how we are to be God’s co-workers today, Spirit-written letters of compassion and justice, we will attempt to identify and employ which hermeneutical ways of reading are particularly appropriate and helpful for us in the push and pull of ordinary life, including the academic enterprise.


  1. To become (more) familiar with the Bible read and interpreted as an ongoing story/of God and creation, creation and God with an eye to deepening our walk of faith.
  2. To increase our ability to think creatively and constructively about the interconnections between the biblical text, academic reflection, and contemporary cultural discernment.
  3. To deepen our knowledge and awareness of key hermeneutical issues relevant to biblical interpretation.

Course Requirements

  1. 1250 pages total reading, including research for paper, with approximately 60-70 pages per week to prepare for weekly sessions.
  2. Turn-taking in leading devotions and discussions, as well as involved participation in weekly seminars.
  3. Exegetical course paper, 3000- 5000 pages, on passage of your choosing which demonstrates awareness of relevant hermeneutical issues discussed in the course.


Olthuis , James,  A Hermeneutics of Ultimacy (1987) (ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BS476 .O54)

Olthuis,  James,  “Otherwise than Violence:  Toward A Hermeutics of Connection,” The Arts,  Community and Cultural Democracy Eds. L. Zuidervaart and H. Luttikhuizen, 2000, pp.137-164. (ICS Library Reserve Shelf: NX180 .S6 A773 1999)

Smith, James K.,  The Fall of Interpretation. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000. (ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BD241 .S595 2000)


Course Schedule


Sept.   12                        Intros.                                  Personal Queries and Quests

Richard Middleton’s, “A New Heaven and a New Earth: The Case for a Holistic Reading of the Biblical Story of Redemption,” Journal for Christian Theological Research 11 (2006):73-97.

Sept.  19      Crispin Fletcher-Louis, “Commentary: Gen. 1:26 & Exodus 20;4f.” Third Way (Dec. 1999); “Commentary: Gen. 1:26 & Eph. 1:22,” Third Way (Jan. 2000), and Nik Ansell, “Commentary: Gen. 1:27 f., Daniel 2:35 &Eph. 1:22f.,”Third Way (Feb. 2002)

James Olthuis , A Hermeneutics of Ultimacy (1987), pp. 11-52.

Sept.  26       Nik Ansell, “The Call of Wisdom/The Voice of  the Serpent: A Canonical Approach to the Tree of Knowledge,” Christian Scholar’s Review 31/1 (Fall 2001).        


James Olthuis, A Hermeneutics of Ultimacy,” pp. 53-90.

Oct.   3       David Smith. “Commentary: Genesis 11:1-9,”Third Way  (May 1990), Nik Ansell, “Commentary: Gen. 22, “ Third Way (April 20040,  “Commentary: Gen.11: 4 & 22:15-17A,”Third Way (Summer, 2004).

James Olthuis,  “Otherwise than Violence:  Toward A Hermeutics of Connection,” The Arts, Community and Cultural Democracy Eds. L. Zuidervaart and H. Luttikhuizen, pp.137-164.

Oct.  10                           Canadian Thanksgiving  

Oct.  17   NiK Ansell, “Commentary: Exodus 19: 5-6,” Third Way (November, 2002)


Oct. 24                         Reading Week

Oct. 31   NiK Ansell, “Commentary: Job 1:1 ff & 42: 12-15,” Third Way (Sept. 1996), “Commentary: Job 40:15-19 & 42: 1,6,” Third Way (November 2003)

Nov. 7   NiK Ansell, “Commentary: Mark 12: 38-13:2,” Third Way (May 1997)

Nov. 14  NiK Ansell, “Commentary: Colossians 3: 1f,” Third Way (Feb. 1999), NiK Ansell, “Commentary: Luke 20: 27-36,” Third Way (March 1999)

Nov.  21   Hendrik Hart, “No Condemnation,” The Other Side ( Sept. Oct. 1993).

Nov.  28   NiK Ansell, “Commentary: John 2: 15-16, 18-19, 10:30-39 & 14: 2a-3,” Third Way (Summer, 2003).


Dec.  5        Student presentations

Dec. 12.    Student presentations