It’s a wonderful, wet Monday morning here and my lawn is begging for more rain. I hope your week has started with a bang! I am freely admitting this morning that I am an Olympic junky. No, I don’t sit around and watch fencing and judo during the daytime hours but I am riveted by the nightly action in the pool, on the track, and in the gymnastics arena. I am already fearful of the dreaded Olympics withdrawal that will surely come soon. But then again I am reminded that when the Olympics are over I will finally get to find out who won in Battlebots and American Ninja Warrior so all is not lost!
Today I want to borrow heavily from another blog that I read recently. It is from the Radical Blog and the title is called “Why Your Bible Study is Too Superficial.” Wow. That caught my attention. It is from a series of studies by IMB president, David Platt, and it comes out of the “postmodern” society we live in where everything is relative. As he says, “Postmodernism's mantra is, ‘What is true for you is true for you, and what is true for me is true for me.’ And it is out of this basic thought pattern that the ‘superficial approach’ arises.” He says we often ask the wrong question in Bible studies. The question we often is “What does this verse mean to you?” He says, “Now this seems like a perfectly good question to ask, so what's the harm in asking it? Well it is a good question, but not in the way that it is normally asked. You see, the underlying thought of that question tends to leave room in everyone's mind for different, if not opposing, meanings to the passage at hand.” Think about that for a moment. Surely the Bible doesn’t just mean whatever “I” want it to mean. When every verse is open to how “I” think it should be interpreted then we open ourselves up to very dangerous territory. “The obvious problem that arises out of asking this question is that it takes the authority out of the Word of God, and puts it into the opinion of man. Rather than asking what God meant when he inspired this passage, people are increasingly concerned with what they think this passage means to them, despite any obvious contradictions with other people's interpretations, let alone the rest of the Bible.” He goes on to discuss what the right question is when it comes to a Bible study. “The difference between the right question and the wrong question is not a matter of wording, per se, but of intent. The difference is the difference between hermeneutics and homiletics; between interpretation and application. So, if by asking ‘What does this verse mean to you?’, I am really asking, ‘How does this verse apply to you?’, then we are asking the right question.” I hope you will read this excellent blog and think more about how you look at Scripture. So many people today want to try to make the Bible say what they want it to say rather than what God is actually saying to us. Don’t fall into that “relative” trap. Read His Word and interpret it correctly and then ask, “How does this apply to me?” And I would go a step further and after studying the Word I would say we need to also ask, “Now, what do I need to do today as a result of reading this passage?”
Quote for today: “Our biggest need is not a car, a girl, a promotion, freedom from debt or sickness, but rather our greatest need is a fully restored relationship with God.” – Paul Tripp (see 2 Peter 1:3-4)
Last Word: October is Missions Month!! It’s going to be AMAZING! Keep watching for more info.
P.S. Happy Birthday to my wife who gets to celebrate another year this Friday!! I thank God for her each day!