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Covenants: Clarity, Ambiguity, and Faith

Posted on Jul 10, 2014 in Hermeneutics | 1 comment

by Paul Henebury – Why Make a Covenant? In Genesis 21 is an episode where a Philistine leader, Abimelech, comes to Abraham and wants him to “swear… that you will not deal falsely with me, with my offspring, or with my posterity…” (21:23).  Abraham consented, but there was strife over a well which had been seized by Abimelech’s servants (21:25-26).  To make sure there was understanding on both sides Abraham and Abimelech entered into a covenant (21:27, 32).  In particular the point at issue was the well.  Abimelech was to take seven ewes from Abraham as a witness that Abraham had dug the well (21:30).  The place where the two made the oath was named “Beersheba”, which means something like “the well of the oath of seven.”  The covenant clarified whose well it was and emphasized in the oath...

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The Sufficiency of Scripture: Is God’s Word Enough? Part 3

Posted on Mar 20, 2014 in Bible, Hermeneutics | 2 comments

by Steve Spurlin – I recently began a series of articles dealing with the sufficiency of Scripture.  I began by giving a definition and description of sufficiency.  By way of introduction and reminder, the following is our definition: Sufficiency means that something is enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end.  It refers to something being what is necessary or desirable for a specified need.  Simply put, if something is sufficient it is just what the doctor ordered. Our last discussion ended with the historical development of the Roman Catholic standard form of hermeneutic, an allegorical method of interpreting Scripture.  A major concern with this approach is that Scripture becomes putty in the hands of the interpreter who is free to mold its “meaning” into anything that suits his/her fancy.  Added to this method is the...

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The Sufficiency of Scripture: Is God’s Word Enough? Part 2

Posted on Feb 7, 2014 in Bible, Bible Exegesis/Exposition, Hermeneutics | 2 comments

by Steve Spurlin – Recently I began a series of articles dealing with the sufficiency of Scripture.  I began by giving a definition and description of sufficiency.  By way of introduction I will briefly review. Sufficiency means that something is enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end.  It refers to something being what is necessary or desirable for a specified need.  Simply put, if something is sufficient it is just what the doctor ordered.  When it comes to Scripture, God’s Holy Word, it means that the Bible is totally adequate, and competent to meet the needs of every individual Christian in every circumstance of life (see 2 Peter 1:2-3).  Nothing else is needed to guide us in our everyday living. Most of us would agree that the greater portion of the Church has abandoned this long-held...

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Hermeneutics and the Spiritual Life

Posted on Jan 10, 2014 in Hermeneutics, Israel, Philosophy, Spiritual Formation | 2 comments

by Steve Spurlin – One’s hermeneutic practice is a topic of vital importance.  Everyone has a hermeneutic practice whether they know it or not and whether they are able to explain it or not.  What is the term hermeneutic(s) you may ask.  Good question. The term hermeneutic (hur ma noo tik) may be defined as the science of interpretation, in particular the interpretation of Scripture.  When a Christian, or anyone else for that matter, reads Scripture he or she employs a hermeneutic method in order to determine and understand what the text is saying.  Since Scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16-17) and represents His self-revelation to man (Heb. 1:1-2) it is imperative that the reader correctly interprets its message.  Also, since God has spoken it is not at all difficult to determine why; He desires to have mankind come to...

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What is Progressive Revelation? (Pt.4)

Posted on Nov 11, 2013 in Bible, Hermeneutics, Theology | 0 comments

by Paul Martin Henebury – Revelation Cannot Be Divorced From the Character of the Revealer Plain-speaking is usually thought to be a virtue.  One should say what one means.  On the other hand, it is not a virtue to use words which one knows beforehand may lead another person to conclude we mean one thing, when, in actuality, we mean something more obscure and inscrutable, or even utterly different. To show how impactful this truth is, I’ll pick an example from another sphere.  In his recent book against the false claims of Richard Dawkins, Jonathan Sarfati writes this: It is…disingenuous for an ardent antitheist like Dawkins to profess concern about a creator’s alleged deception.  However, biblical creationists respond that the real deception would be for a creator to use evolution then tell us in the Bible something diametrically opposed in...

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The Progressive Dispensationalist’s Hermeneutic

Posted on Oct 30, 2013 in Hermeneutics, Theology | 0 comments

by Daniel Thomas – When interpreting Scripture it is vital that the interpreter purges any preconceived perceptions on which they believe the Scripture ought teach and place the focus on what the original writer intended. To mask the interpretative process with any notions of theological meaning jades the view of the interpreter and aides in an ill conceived construction of theology (whether proper or not; the ends do not justify the means). Masked by its perceived “grammatical-historical” hermeneutic method, the progressive dispensationalist incorporates a theological aspect to their hermeneutical method; thus, truly, adopting a historical-grammatical-literary-theological hermeneutic. This “grammatical-historical” hermeneutic represents a significant discontinuity with its lineage of traditional dispensationalism, in that it incorporates the interpreter’s preunderstanding of the interpreted text, in which this contrast rescinds objectivity in favor of the interpreter’s own bias. The historical dimension of the progressive dispensationalist’s...

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