Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Every Text Is a Cautionary Tale

Goldfinch approaching one of my backyard feeders

Every biblical text is a cautionary tale.

Every statement is a cautionary tale.

Which means: WARNING! EVERY TEXT CAN BE MISINTERPRETED!

Any text can be cherry-picked and politicized.

In a recent discussion on my views of healing and the Atonement, a responder was concerned that my perspective could slip into a prosperity gospel position. I assured them that I am not into the heretical prosperity gospel.

I am, however, interested in correctly interpreting Scripture, and even language, for that matter.

We must first ask, what is the text saying? We have to be able, as best we can, to get the text right, and not impose, e.g., a Western worldview on the text.

Once we believe we get the text right - e.g., in my case, comprehensive healing is in the Atonement (1 Peter 2:24) - then we simply present it. We present the correctly (we hope) interpreted text without worry that our presentation could be misinterpreted. Because - of course our presentation could be misinterpreted! It is a guarantee that it will be misinterpreted.

This human reality cannot prevent us from putting forth our understanding. If we operated out of fear that our position could be misinterpreted, then we would present nothing.

Every text is a cautionary tale.