May 26, 2011

Reading Scripture

“There is an ethical dimension to reading that includes respect for the author as well as careful attention to what was in fact been written and the form in which it has been written. Yet reading the word of God in the presence of God demands more than these more general courtesies. In this case, the very human activity of reading takes on a new importance as a vital element of the life of faith. The suggestion that we approach the text with a ‘hermeneutic of suspicion,’ or that we must ‘master the text lest the text master us,’ is quite frankly, incompatible with faith in the goodness of God. It cannot but lead to a distortion of Scripture’s meaning and the elevation of our own interests above the express will of the one who made us and redeemed us.

“In short, hermeneutics is like everything else in the world outside Eden. It is an area of scholarly activity that can be an avenue for faithful service or an opportunity for human self-assertion.”

Mark D.  Thompson, A Clear and Present Word: The Clarity of Scripture, New Studies in Biblical Theology 21, ed. D. A. Carson (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2006), 140–1.

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