Exegesis Not Polemics

August 13, 2012 by  
Filed under A Monday AM BLOG

I recently watched a Video of a very beneficial message concerning harmony among brothers in Christ  on doctrinal issues. The speaker said – “quote the author”. This requires accurate, compassionate, irenic and precise exegesis. Unity is not something we create, rather, it is something we embrace as God’s provision. When we have correctly and compassionately interpreted Special Revelation and submit to what it says with precision and accuracy, we have unity. Paul tells us to “guard or keep” the unity of the faith not create it (Eph. 4:3). Unity is the result of correctly interpreting and applying Special Revelation in our daily experience and pilgrim journey.

In the Forums that I have participated in the issue of exegesis line by line and precept upon precept is never accomplished. I certainly support and appreciated the speaker’s six (6) characteristics for laboring together. However, they are more circumstantial than essential.

We need to humbly, honestly, accurately and with precision work through the passages that pose or represent our differences. The Law of Non-Contradiction applies. You may be correct and I incorrect in my interpretation. I may be correct and you incorrect in the interpretation of a given text. We may both be incorrect. What we cannot be is both correct if we have differing interpretations. The Holy Spirit had/has one and only one correct meaning for each and every portion of God’s Word. We claim to embrace the Authority of Scripture. Unless we have the courage and true Christian humility to seek this single meaning we are missing the challenge/opportunity before us.

The issue is not any “ism”. The issue is not any denomination or tradition. The issue is that we tremble at the Word of The LORD and labor together with humility and accurate sound exegetical scholarship to discover what that Word says and what it means.

I have proposed and will continue to pursue a forum in which we post the key passages diagrammed in the original languages of the OT & NT and systematically work through them with grace, integrity and humility until we find what each portion of God’s Word says & means. I pray that we do this soon.

Until we do the issues will continue to exist. Exhibiting an irenic and gracious spirit in our deliberations (which we absolutely must) is not a substitute for ‘orthotomouvta ton logon teis aleitheias’ – 2 Timothy 2:15.

“What does the text say?”

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