Fear-Driven Biblical Interpretation

Some really really good stuff here from my friend Scott on not allowing fear to drive how we understand and or interpret the Bible. Please do give it a read…

The Prodigal Thought

Jonah and the Whale Jan Brueghel the Elder, 1887 Evangelicals are passionate about Scripture. It’s foundational to who we are. Well, first and foremost, evangel icals are called to be passionate about the evangel  (or gospel) of Christ and his kingdom. But Scripture is still of utmost importance, a strong bedrock in our theological and life formation.

So, it would follow that how we interpret Scripture must become crucial as well. However, biblical interpretation is no easy task…AT ALL. And to champion the perspicuity, or clarity, of Scripture, as most evangelicals do, could cause a bit of confusion if you simply read Scripture itself, as well as the multiplicity of interpretive approaches across the broad scope of 2000 years of Christian church history (I, of course, am referring to the non-heretical interpretations).

I’m currently thinking about this topic (well, I think about it often, though I’m considering it a bit more today) because of some interaction I came across from an acquaintance and his study…

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John Feinberg’s Course on Christian Ethics

looks like a good opportunity here…

KINGDOMVIEW

There are many fine works on Christian ethics available on the book market. My top 3 are John Frame’s Doctrine of the Christian Life, John Jefferson Davis’s Evangelical Ethics, and John Feinberg’s Ethics for a Brave New World (a high-ranking honorable mention goes to Scott Rae’s Moral Choices). In terms of current discussions and at-length interactions with opposing views, Feinberg stands above the rest. Recently I stumbled upon these 18 videos of Feinberg’s ethics course taught at The Master’s Seminary a few years ago. One doesn’t have to agree with all of Feinberg’s conclusions to appreciate his vast knowledge of the subject, careful analysis, and fair representation of opposing views. Enjoy!

Christian Decision Making 1

Christian Decision Making  2

Christian Decision Making  3

Christian Decision Making  4

Christian Decision Making  5

Euthanasia 1

Euthanasia 2

Euthanasia 3

Euthanasia 4

Euthanasia 5

Euthanasia 6

Homosexuality 1

Homosexuality 2

Divorce &…

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some reading for you

here are some good thoughtful articles and blog posts I’ve come across recently and wanted to share with y’all:

Janice Shaw Crouse on  America’s appalling ignorance of Christianity.

“•Only 10 percent of American teenagers can name all five major world religions and 15 percent cannot name any.
•Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that the Bible holds the answers to all or most of life’s basic questions, yet only half of American adults can name even one of the four gospels, and most Americans cannot name the first book of the Bible.

Kristof expands the litany of ignorance: “Only one-third know that Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, and 10 percent think that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.”

Anthony Bradley writes on “The New Legalism” (the call to be a “radical,””missional” Christian): http://t.co/uXOXxfyImI

“Being a ‘radical,’ ‘missional’ Christian is slowly becoming the ‘new legalism.’ We need more ordinary God and people lovers (Matt 22:36-40).”

Fred Sanders offers an analysis of Oneness Pentecostalism.

It is a disturbing fact that the most vigorous form of anti-trinitarianism currently on the market is to be found within the sphere of conservative evangelicalism….

Christena Cleveland on the problem of Urban Church P̶l̶a̶n̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ Plantations

They come in like Wal-mart – with all their fancy buildings and fancy programs. And one by one, the members of my church come to me and say, ‘We love you, pastor, but they have a great kids program, so we’re going to start attending that church.’ — an African-American urban pastor

Why students using laptops learn less in class even when they really are taking notes http://t.co/bszI81QvEE

Are you one of those old-school types who insists that kids learn better when they leave the laptops at home and take lecture notes in longhand?  If so, you’re right. There’s new evidence to prove it, and it’s unsettling because so many students aren’t really taught longhand anymore.

Blessings,

require the biblical languages in seminary?

well I think so… so do John Byron and Reed Carlson.

here is a portion from Reed’s blog post on it all where he responds to various objections such as:

OK, but isn’t there an abundance of Bible translations, software, and other tools for that sort of thing?

Yes, and that’s part of the problem. Particularly in English, Bible tools and translations are overwhelming. The Internet has galvanized the proliferation of Bible “experts”—both qualified and unqualified—and it is easier than ever for anyone to access Bible study materials online. Thus, one of the most valuable skills a seminarian can learn in a biblical language course is the ability to recognize and use these materials. How does one distinguish profitable Bible commentary from what is not useful? What are the benefits and limitations of software that does the parsing and dictionary work for you? How do popular Bible translations differ and why does that matter theologically?

Too often biblical language courses succeed only in making students timid when they talk about the Bible. This is in part the fault of instructors who intimidate their students by showcasing the sheer volume of material a first-year seminarian could never hope to learn. Instead, we should be releasing students to make responsible use of the plethora of tools that are available. If they don’t learn these skills when they’re in seminary, when else will they have the chance?

Have a read!  Blessings!