Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The danger of interprative gymnastics

Augustine, despite all the good things he said, wrote and did, royally screwed up when it came to explaining Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan.

But, he's not alone.

A lot of preachers, speakers and theologians have taken a segment of the bible and executed biblical gymnastics.

And it's not just the parables of Jesus that endure the "creative" explanation. The same is especially true for the books of Song of Songs and Revelation.

The odd thing about some of these "imaginative" interpretations are, at times, they fly in the face of the interpretation which the scriptures themselves give. 

Why the heck would you, like Augustine, apply a complex interpretation when one isn't needed!?!

For, the insidious element of such interpretations is that it weakens the confidence those listening have in the bible.

Why would you trust the plain, face-value, interpretation of a passage - even if it's by Jesus himself - if there's a "secret" truth or application which lies underneath? 

Taken to its extreme, this feeds a modern-day form of Gnosticism, where the scriptures hold a "secret knowledge" which only some are attuned to.

This is the foundation-weakening danger of such interpretations...

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