The Evangelical Hermeneutic

How to Preach Real, Relevant, Relational and Revolutionary Sermons

Chapter 7
The Evangelical Hermeneutic
The Evangelical Hermeneutic is what keeps the Contemporary Christian Culture Cancer growing.  As insidious as an undiagnosed Leukemia, the Contemporary Christian unwittingly brings this disease to the text.
It is, for one deep inside the conspiracy, impossible to see a passage any other way.  The cancer can not be removed—the patient must be—and that only by death.
When approaching a text such a one unconsciously applies the following principles to elicit its meaning.

1. It is about me.  Whatever the book, be it Pentateuch, prophets, psalms, gospel or epistle—it is talking about me.

2. It tells me what to do or what not to do.  An action is required on my part.  My ability to do or not to do what the bible tells me is equal to my goodness or wickedness.

3. It condemns those that are different from me.  People who are non-Christian (those who freely admit their lack of faith or worse profess a false faith) or unchristian (people who say they are Christian but demonstrate their lack of salvation by their actions, whether it be thinking premarital sex is not bad or going to an Episcopal church).

4. It implies the opposite.  Every pronouncement of grace points to my own condemnation if I fail.  Every promise is a threat.  Everything that God does, reveals what I must do.

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2 Responses to The Evangelical Hermeneutic

  1. PamBG says:

    I agree that this approach to interpreting the bible is extant in the Christian culture. This is precisely how I learned as a young child in the US to read the bible.

    For me, though, your first paragraph is rather contradictory to your hermeneutical point 3. A bit more of an irenic introduction might be in order. (I say this as someone who has been profoundly personally hurt by church, so I don’t consider myself your opponent.)

    Grace and peace.

  2. dave paisley says:

    “…or going to an Episcopal church”

    Cracked me up with that one. I guess I’m really doomed, because shortly, I shall be a chalice bearer at the 10:30 service.

    Oh woe is me!

    Follow up question: How does the Evangelical practice of reading a bible passage in bite sized chunks, with massive exposition by the pastor on each chunk in between, play into this? It took me ages to realize that that was the standard way the Evo churches do it, rather than just the televangelists.

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