Thursday, October 22, 2009

Theology: Hermen Who? - Part 2

Part 2: Presuppositions [Cont.] - What does this have to do with interpreting scripture?

Since we are talking about presuppositions that should clue you in to what the key is in answering the questions. The reason I like this illustration is that even knowing this it is still difficult to get the right answers.

The problem is that in reading anything, not just scripture, we have presuppositions that we don't even realize we are imposing on the text.

So lets look at this story one last time. This time I'll give you the 3 most important rules in interpretation to help you figure this out:

Context, Context, Context [Click]

He jogged a little ways and turned left. He jogged a little ways and turned left. He jogged a little ways, turned left and jogged back home.

As he was jogging home, he noticed two masked men waiting for him at home.

1. Who were the masked men?
2. Why did he leave home jogging?

I have yet to meet anyone that didn't have the look on their face that you have right now. Now you know exactly what you could not see before, and that's because you were presupposing a definition of the word 'Home' that the author did not intend.

As you see with that one little word you imposed an entire context that had nothing to do with what was going on, and therefore you were unable to answer 2 questions that are obvious if you were thinking baseball.

Please add your comments/questions/etc. and next week we will talk more about these issues we need to deal with in interpretation.

Grace Gems: The gentleness of Jesus

The gentleness of Jesus

(J. R. Miller,
"Things to Live For" 1896)

"Learn from Me--for I am gentle and humble in heart." Matthew 11:29

Of the gentleness of Jesus it was said, "
He will not break a bruised reed, and He will not put out a smoldering wick." Isaiah 42:3. There is nothing that this sorrowing, sinning world needs--more than gentleness. Yet, there are some Christians who seem never to have learned love's secret of gentleness.

We need to pray for the grace of gentleness, that we may walk softly among men, never hurting another life by harsh words or ungentle acts.

We can have something of the beauty of Christ in our life. As we can get into our hearts the grace of the Lord Jesus, and the mind that was in Jesus--the light of divine love will shine out from our dull nature, and transfigure it. This will make us sweet-tempered and gentle-spirited. It will make us honest in our dealings with our fellow-men. It will make us kind to all about us. It will make us godly people to live with at home. It will make us good neighbors and faithful friends. The unconscious ministry of such a life through long years--will leave untold blessings in this world.

Such a life of quiet, simple, humble, Christlike goodness--will pour out its unconscious influence into other lives--making them better, happier, holier, sweeter. Such a ministry of simple goodness is within the reach of every Christian. It requires no brilliant gifts, and no great wealth. It is a ministry which the plainest and lowliest may fulfill.

In these days of 'fashionable worldliness', the church needs just such simple goodness. It has eloquence in its pulpits, and activity in its pews--but it needs more godly people filled with the gentleness of Christ, repeating the life of Christ wherever they move.

Grace Gems