It’s been quite a while since I started my discussion on Bible interpretation so I’ll link you to the first two posts.
Another point has pressed itself onto my mind. Here it is:
God’s Word is authoritative.
Now for that to mean anything at all, there has to be such a thing as an objective “correct interpretation.”
It does not mean that we will always know the correct interpretation. But there is one. And we find it by looking at the text itself.
I won’t go much deeper into the principles of hermeneutics. If your church or a local college offers a course in hermeneutics, I encourage you to take it. It will probably change your life.
A crucial conclusion
But I will draw a crucial conclusion. People are often afraid of admitting that secular scientists, psychologists, archaeologists, etc. have anything significant to teach us. But all truth is God’s truth.
But a dislike of the evidentialist approach to the world (admitting that we need to develop and present rational arguments for our beliefs) does not come from philosophical disagreement, but from a fear that Scripture cannot be accurately interpreted with any authority.
In other words, we’re afraid that if we let these disciplines teach us anything, we’ll have to let them be our final authority. I think the reason for this is that God’s Word has been so mistreated in our pulpits that we have come to believe secretly that Scripture can be used to support anything.
Do we really trust Scripture?
The heart of our problem with epistemology is a problem of hermeneutics. If we truly trust that we can know and understand what God intends us to know and understand from Scripture, we won’t need to fear what we might learn from these other disciplines.
We’ve got to find the balance.
We must carefully interpret Scripture and preach it with authority. But we must also admit it when the correct interpretation is not clear.
We’ve got to trust that God knew what he was doing when he gave Scripture to us—even when the correct interpretation is uncertain—and his Word is sufficient in that the divine revelation we have is all the divine revelation we need.
- Australian Pastors: Staying a pastor.
- David Hosaflook: How NOT to drop a missionary.
- Communicate Jesus: Should Christian Creatives Work for Free?
- Andy Naselli: Mostly Dead vs. All Dead.
Finally, this is a parody of modern youth ministry, but I think it provides a very helpful visualisation of what it would mean to stand up to it in your own church.