Biblical hermeneutics and exegesis as criteria for assessing diagnostic variables in diagnostic theory.
The title of this thesis is:- "Biblical hermeneutics and exegesis as criteria for assessing diagnostic variables in diagnostic theology". This thesis is concerned with the role, place and influence of the Bible in the context of diagnostic theology. Diagnostic theology is the scientific-theological investigation into a parishioner's problems in order to arrive at a spiritual diagnosis and direct the individual to the appropriate form of spiritual, clinical or psychological help. The major emphasis has been placed on the use of the Bible in the counselling situation. This has direct bearing on the three scholars whose work is examined, namely Anton Boisen, Paul Pruyser, and Seward Hiltner. The greater emphasis of this work has been placed on the writings of Seward Hiltner. He devised and used a set of diagnostic variables which brought into sharp focus the possibility of assessing the parishioner as a personality in a situation, also taking into account the individual's spiritual resources or coping mechanisms. Furthermore, this thesis investigates the use of these three variables under the categories of biblical theology, doctrinal theology and didactic theology. Moreover this investigation has drawn conclusions in the form of a derivative exegesis which has issued forth in an answering theology or hermeneutic. Finally, this work deals with critical inquiry in the context of the Christian faith which makes it relevant to the situation in the modern Western world.