Tuesday, January 28, 2020

There is a limit

If we read modern ideas into the text, we skirt the authority of the text and in effect compromise it, arrogating authority to ourselves and our ideas. This is especially true when we interpret the text as if it is making reference to modern science, of which the author and audience had no knowledge. The text cannot mean what it never meant. What the text says may converge with modern science, but the text does not make authoritative claims pertaining to modern science (e.g., some statements may coincide with Big Bang cosmology, but the text does not authoritatively establish Big Bang cosmology). What the author meant and what the audience understood place restrictions on what information has authority. The only way we can move with certainty beyond that which was intended by the Old Testament author is if another authoritative voice (e.g., a New Testament author) gives us that extension of meaning.—The Lost World of Adam and Eve, p. 19

<idle musing>
OK, color me heretical here. I think that is too restrictive a hermeneutic. I agree that scripture doesn't make authoritative statements about science. But, I believe God can personalize a passage of scripture for an individual, and possibly even a group—as long as it is in doctrinal agreement with the remainder of scripture. Maybe it's my Wesleyan/Charismatic background speaking here versus the Reformed, more cerebral background of the authors, but the Holy Spirit has used passages of scripture in my life to convict and direct me in ways that definitely go beyond what was intended by the OT author. Way beyond!
</idle musing>

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