Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Jesus Hermeneutic and Us

Though I've taken a bit of a break from blogging lately, I have not completed (nor will I ever) my thoughts regarding a Jesus Hermeneutic. (To read what I mean by this, simply click the label hermeneutics to the right.) A quick review of those posts will hopefully show that Jesus expected the Bible (New and Old Testament) to be read with Him central, that He modeled this approach to the disciples, and that they then modeled it for us. The next question becomes...

Do we then have the authority/ability/commissioning/task to do this as well?

This is where the rubber meets the road. To date, I've seen two ways to answer the question.

To the direct-short-straight-to-the-point-type person, I answer:

Yes.

When Jesus rebuked Pharisees for missing Him in the Old Testament...
When Jesus then taught the disciples to understand the point of the Old Testament is Christ...
When the preaching in the Book of Acts models this hermeneutic...
When the authors of the gospel employ this hermeneutic in regard to prophecies...
When the authors of the epistles likewise employ this hermeneutic...

...it should be enough to simply say, "Yes!"

However, there are usually objections that come, typically in the way of questions. Attempting to answer these questions then becomes a slightly more detailed way to show people, "Yes, we have the authority/ability/commissioning/task to employ this hermeneutic as well." I hope to next work my way through the typical questions I have heard. Some of the questions are:

    Haven't we been called to preach the whole counsel of Scripture? Sounds like all you want to talk about is Jesus and the gospel.
    Isn't the most faithful approach to the text (specifically Old Testament) to share it as the original audience understood it?
    What about God and the Holy Spirit? Don't they get jealous of all the talk being about Jesus?
    Aren't we to give meat? If you just speak on Jesus and the gospel, isn't that just dispensing milk?
    I give an altar call every week, yet you seem to be saying something different. How is preaching Christ and the gospel every week different than giving an altar call?
    Can't Jesus be central in my ministry without me seeing the need to talk about Him in every sermon?
    Does this hermeneutic keep and/or win lost people?
    Does this mean the Scriptures have no practical application?
    Doesn't such a hermeneutic conflict with dispensationalism?
I'm not sure in what order we'll handle these questions (multiple questions may be answered in singular posts as well), but like Ben Roethlisberger on Nick Harper, it may not be pretty, but I plan to tackle them.

9 comments:

Darby Livingston said...

And I so look forward to it. WARNING: The road you're going down, if traveled consistently, might lead you to some traditionally non-dispensational destinations. Oops! Did I say that out loud?

danny2 said...

Oh, I need to edit my post...that is a comment I do want to address.

For now let me simply say two things:

a) One does not have to be dispensational to remain premillennial.

b) Once does not have to abandon a premillennial perspective to "head down this road."

dee said...

but one DOES need to keep a dictionary or other reference book handy when reading this blog and the comments that follow....

danny2 said...

sorry, that's not my intention at all.

i'll work harder at defining words. i never use words for the sake of trying to flaunt unusual language.

Darby Livingston said...

It's my fault, I started the big word express. I do agree with your two points though.

JanAl said...

Before I read Dee's comment, I was going to say that some of your words are TOO big for me, LOL!
And my dictionary is getting a workout! I am afraid to comment, because maybe I will misunderstand, and my comment won't make sense, because I do not have the full understanding. The good part is, I am learning new words, will I use them in a sentence, NO!

David Mohler said...

Yay for non-dispensational premillennialism!

Brad said...

I think you may have addressed this question once before, long ago, but I don't quite remember your answer, and chances are your thinking may have developed some:

Since all passages of scripture speak of Christ, even those wherein no actual statements are made of him, (a notion with which I agree) do we not still preach him even if all we do is expound the point of the passage that appears from its actual language?

In other words, if the apostles are said to be preaching Christ even when he does not appear in their actual language, why cannot the expositor be said to do the same?

In other other words, do we not preach Christ merely by grammatically expounding any of the words of the apostles?

dee said...

danny - i wasn't insinuating that you (or anyone else) was flaunting knowledge. i know you enjoy this kind of study and discussion and that you post about topics that are important to you. i'm just not used to so much of it going right over my head :p

and you didn't think you knew how to speak a foreign language...