I have come to the conclusion that I have a major preoccupation with the ontology of Scripture; in other words: What is it? Scripture for me is so important, as I am sure it is for most of you who read here! As a Protestant Christian I am taken with what Karl Barth calls the Protestant Scripture principle, or what others have simply identified as a theology of the Word (instead of a theology of the Church) as the centerpiece of my theological authority base. I realize that none of this is unique to me, and that almost all of the chatter, online in particular, on theological blogs, and theological Facebooking, revolves, really, around an ontology of Scripture.
Furthermore, when I speak of an ontology of Scripture I am gesturing toward the discipline that I think is the most relevant towards establishing trajectory for this discussion; Christian dogmatics. If I am going to talk about Scripture’s ‘being’ or taxis (order), I am first presupposing that it has one, and that it comes from somewhere. It is somewhat strange to think of Scripture having an ontology, isn’t it? I mean how can something that is made up of paper, ink, binding, and leather have ‘being’? So I must be referring to its function, its instrumental place in relation to God. Yes, this is how Scripture must be thought of as having an ontology. When we understand that Scripture has a place it must have a place somewhere, not only in relation to God, but since it involves creaturely media, within an ontology of Creation. So maybe you get the picture a little. Scripture is something that is given by God to us, and as such this dictates the way we will proceed in our engagement with Scripture; not as if it is something that is merely profane, but obviously, as something that is sacred, but further, something that is not ours, but God’s. If we have this idea of an ontology of Scripture, a properly Christian one, as I was just noting, this will dictate how we ‘interpret’ Scripture; it will give us an ontology of hermeneutics. John Webster communicates it this way:
Much follows from this for a theology of Scripture. An immediate formal consequence is the necessity of a textual and hermeneutical ontology – parallel to a moral ontology in Christian ethics – which accounts for the activities of the production and interpretation of texts by referring them to divine revelation as their material, efficient and final cause. The Bible, its readers and their work of interpretation have their place in the domain of the Word of God, the sphere of reality in which Christ glorified is present and speaks with unrivalled clarity. As he speaks, he summons creaturely intelligence to knowledge and by his Spirit bestows powers of mind and will so that they may be quickened by that summons to intelligent life under the Word. This, in turn, suggests other matters of reflection in the theology of Scripture. Bibliology and hermeneutics are derivative elements of Christian theology, shaped by prior Christian teaching abou the nature of God and creatures and their relations. Again, bibliology is prior to hermeneutics, because strategies of interpretation will be maladroit unless fitting to the actual nature of the text which they seek to unfold. A common thread running through a number of essays [Webster in this paragraph is introducing what he will be developing throughout the rest of his book] is the restriction imposed on biblical study by theological inattention to the nature of Scripture, the resultant vacuum often being filled by some kind of naturalism. The cogency (as much political as hermeneutical) of this strategy was that it appeared to recall attention to the fact that the Bible and the interpretation of the Bible are human cultural activities. The recall, however, was often coupled to a kind of nominalism, in which human signs were segregated from the divine economy of revelation, as, once again, elements without principles. The misstep here is the supposition that the properties of natural realities can be grasped without reference to createdness, and that only when so grasped can natural realities protect their integrity. But in a well-ordered Christian theology, the divine movements of revelation, inspiration and illumination do not compromise the human movements of authorship and interpretation. Showing that this is so, however, obliges theology to attend to doctrinal work on creation, providence and the Holy Spirit, in order to demonstrate that divine revelation is not a unilateral cognitive force but a compound act in which the creator and reconciler takes creatures and their powers, acts and products into his service. God speaks from his human temple.
I hope what I was articulating among is even a little clearer now, because of Webster’s insight.
The reason my spirit has been being stirred lately is because of what I perceive as the recklessness with which Scripture has been being engaged; in particular by folks in the mood of Peter Enns. Enns’ book, as far as I understand it (I haven’t been able to read it in full yet, but I just finished listening to an hour and a half interview he just did on the book) is reckless, for the very reasons I just opined upon. He has no overt ontology of Scripture informing his deconstruction of it; he is simply appealing to the naturalist approach to bibliology that Webster references. This is reckless, not just for him, but for the thousands (I hope that is all that his book will touch) of people who will come into contact with his book, The Bible Tells Me So. When the naturalist bible critic talks about the Bible he doesn’t talk about things like inspiration or illumination, why? Because this kind of critic has taken control of the text of Scripture, as if it isn’t something that is given, as if it is open to their handling from below; but it surely isn’t.
 John Webster, The Domain Of The Word: Scripture and Theological Reason (London: T&T Clark, 2012), viii-ix.