Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
A Thirst for Hermeneutics
07/28/2005 - James WhiteI mentioned to some friends that I would be open for them to provide me with some assistance in blogging between now and the Crossan debate, less than a month off, and the first one to submit something was my friend pastor John Samson, aka "SillyBrit2," a former subject of the British Crown, now a true Yank (he has given up on the Empire ever getting the Colonies back). Here's his submission:
We would be horrified to hear of a surgeon who had just two weeks of training operating on someone's brain. As important as brain surgery is, I believe the job of the Gospel preacher is far more important. Eternal souls hang in the balance, and great care and attention is needed to ensure that a teaching is sound, healthy and accurate. A teacher of the Bible needs rigorous training in the science of biblical interpretation (hermeneutics). But that's not just true for the preacher; everyone of us needs to know how to gain an accurate knowledge of the Word of God.
Some people think that if God wants you to know something about the Bible, He will just reveal it to you supernaturally. Unfortunately, that's how a lot of cults get started. 1 Tim 5:17 says, "Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine." Correct interpretation requires work; sometimes, a great deal of hard work.
We are also told to "be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Tim. 2:15). Without diligent study, it is easy to wrongly divide the word; to believe and to teach error. The main way this takes place is because we draw illegitimate inferences from the text - when we read into the text things that are not actually said by the text, and draw out of the text things that are actually not there (known as eisegesis). Sadly, this happens all too frequently. ...
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John Spilsbury on "The Peculiar Interest of the Elect in the Death of Christ, and His Saving Grace
07/26/2005 - James WhiteHat tip to Kerry Kinchen for referring me to a paper by one of the framers of the London Baptist Confession (1689) on the atonement and the elect, found here. Good stuff.
I was also referred by others to an article on Jeremiah 31/Hebrews 8, which I looked at immediately due to my recent published articles on the subject in the RBTR. Here's the article. I looked for the exegesis, I really did. But I couldn't find any. I looked for a close reading of the argument of the writer to the Hebrews, but there was none. I got a lot of discussion of over-arching themes and the like, just nothing that satisfies my simple "could we try to derive our beliefs from a close examiniation of the text, please" mind. Well, I'll keep looking.
A Little Expansion on Wednesday's Prayer Meeting Devotional
07/14/2005 - James White
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 3:1-3, NASB)
Wednesday night I used this passage as a basis for exhorting the flock to remember to view themselves, each and every day, as people who have undergone a radical change in their lives. We have died with Christ; our life is hidden with Christ in God; we have been raised up with Christ. These are radical, transforming truths that should define us every day. How we think, act, plan, respond, should all be based upon the deep-seated realization that we have died and been raised with Christ. And Paul uses these high doctrines as a basis for a very practical, very "every day/every man" exhortation, "set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth." Isn't the balance and perfection of the Word wonderful? And isn't it so utterly sad that many today have wrapped the Word in such a mass of philosophical mumbo-jumbo that they have convinced themselves no one can really understand what Paul meant in such passages?