Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why Hermeneutics Matter - Part 4 (A Wrap Up)

Good day all!

This is part four, and the final part, in a mini-series I'm doing on what I regard to be a matter for the soul of the Christian Church. If you missed the previous posts, click here for part one, here for part two, and here for part three. While I believe that God will preserve His Word, as He always has, I note with much trepidation that it is not beyond God to allow many generations to pass with no heart for Him or His word. I write this in hopes that those who read it will awaken to the lack of fidelity to the things we claim to hold near and dear.

Some Closing Thoughts

The past few days have been very challenging in a number of ways. Usually that statement is said in an attitude of sadness, but not for me, not this time. I enjoyed the challenge and believe that it was a fruitful couple of days.

I thought that today I might go through some of the things that have come up in relation to this mini series over the past few days.

  • A Google search brought this link to my attention. It's interesting to me that they say the same words almost to the letter, including the "Oprah can't explain him" line. Do you think the results of this Hermeneutic have caused others to praise God, or did they just kneel down before a wafer?

  • This is the church where the young man recorded his video. My impression is that it seems like a fairly solid church. Of course I say that only examining the website for a few minutes. Their stated doctrine seems fine, they have a fairly clear and good Gospel presentation, and they seem to have a certain reverence for God. However, one thing I did notice was that they do not preach in an expository manner. It's not indicative of a bad hermeneutic, but it is not a good sign nonetheless.

  • John MacArthur offers this on Philippians 4. I figure that if my 10 minutes of exposition in part one of this series on Phil 4:6-7 was poor, then listening to MacArthur ought to clear up any misconceptions.

  • A dear friend whom I am certain knows how to handle Scripture properly e-mailed me the following in regards to Numbers 14:13-14

    "The pillars of cloud and fire were actually visible manifestation of God's presence, and thus the point the boy was making is that Israelites traveled as if God held them by their hand: neck to neck or shoulder to shoulder so to speak. I would not go that far as to say it was Jesus, but I would say that it was the manifestation of God."

    He continues by pointing out that MacArthur writes:

    "As a spirit, God is invisible (Col. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:17). He cannot be seen, though He has revealed Himself through physical manifestations. In Old Testament times God revealed His presence through fire, cloud, and the Shekinah (the visible manifestation of God’s glory; see 2 Chron. 7:1–2). The New Testament presents the ultimate revelation of God, when He became a man in the person of Jesus Christ. But God cannot be seen in His essential nature. “No man has seen God at any time,” wrote the apostle John; “the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him”" (John 1:18).

    I agree with my friend but point out that the video makes the claim that Jesus IS the Pillar of cloud/fire. This is simply not the case. To say it is a "visible manifestation of God's presence" is a statement I can get behind. God was making a clear demonstration that He was with Israel and was the one leading them through the desert. I just don't think that's what the boy was saying. He said the pillar is Jesus. It isn't. It's cloud and/or fire. It is there because of God and to indicate (which is what a manifestation is) God's presence, but it isn't the person of Jesus. Nonetheless, I appreciate my dear friend provoking me to think through what I said more thoroughly. Always nice to have iron sharpen iron (Prov 27:17).

  • A professional blogger (whom I respect and read daily) made the observation that I was writing this series in a way that the only people who would understand me would be the people who already agreed with me. It got me to thinking and it will likely influence me in future posts. I put a poll on the Blog's Facebook wall today asking my fans opinions. Feel free to vote.

  • A different friend of mine commented on my personal Facebook that he was glad I was writing this. He pointed out Mark 7:7 to Mark 7:13. I admit that it gave me kind of a spring board in writing part 3 which is why I used it there. Thanks CM, I appreciate the input.

  • I made this and never used it. It would be a shame to have it go to waste:

    That guy is Rick Warren. I know, it's not very good. I'm not very good at visual art and whatnot.

  • I said I'd have some closing thoughts yesterday and mostly I've treated this post as a "Crazy Random Stuff" post. Sorry about that. Let me put this bug in your ear. . . Dig into the resources that will help you to understand what God says in his Word. Think seriously about the points I've brought up here. I'm not saying I'm perfect, far from it, but God can use imperfect people to speak about truth. I hope that what I've done these past few days honors God's truth and will give you a desire to put away your own ideas and embrace God's ideas.

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