Category Archives: hermeneutics
I am absolutely “joy-filled” at the character,courage and integrity of the SBC leadership for holding Perry Noble publicly accountable for perverting the 10 commandments into promises in order to make them more palatable to unbelievers in his church.
The seriousness of the SBC rebuke came with the threat of excommunication from the convention should Noble refuse to correct his heretical teachings. Bam!
Perry Noble, pastor of a South Carolina megachurch, was rebuked by a Southern Baptist leader in South Carolina for calling the 10 Commandments “10 promises” and for other “problematic positions and statements.”
The rebuke came last week from the president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, Tommy Kelly, who said, “We as South Carolina Baptists must publicly state and remove ourselves from these positions and problematic statements and call for NewSpring to correct these positions if it chooses to say that it affiliates with South Carolina Baptist churches.”
..Hoping to bring more people to Jesus, Noble asked those at the worship service to view the 10 Commandments not as rules they have to keep in order to be Jesus followers but as promises that they can receive when they accept Christ.
He interpreted the first commandment (You shall have no other gods before me) as “Promise #1: You do not have to live in constant disappointment anymore.” The second commandment (You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything) was translated into this promise: “You can be free from rituals and religion and trust in a relationship.”
The “you shall not murder” command, he said, is actually a promise that “you do not have to live in a constant state of anger because you will be motivated by love and not hate.”
Cessationism is the view that miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as tongues, prophecy and healing, ceased being practiced either at the completion of the New Testament canon or the conclusion of the Apostolic era. Hence, supernatural gifts have ceased.
The opposite of Cessationism is Continuationism. This belief maintains that all the supernatural gifts of 1 corinthians 12 continue until the second coming of Christ. I personally prefer this term. It doesn’t have all the heretical and behavioral baggage that is most often associated with classical “charismatics.”
The SBC mission board in recent years took steps that go far beyond advancing cessationism, they crafted a harsh position statement that requires rejection of new missionary applicants and dis-fellowship of those missionaries who believe in or practice tongues speech as personal prayer to the Father.
However, it seems some are employing sanctified reasoning skills among the Southern Baptist. This insightful question demands intellectual honesty with a consistent hermeneutic in order to answer with integrity.
Otherwise, hermenutical gymnastics [twisting-bending-contorting scripture] must be resorted to in order to spin an [inconsistent] answer.
“How do you get from,“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all, for to one is given…different kinds of tongues…And God has appointed these in the church…varieties of tongues…For he who speaks in tongue does not speak to men but to God…in the spirit he speaks mysteries…He who speaks in tongues edifies himself…I wish you all spoke in tongues…for if I pray in tongue, my spirit prays…I thank my God that I speak in tongues more than you all…If anyone speaks in tongue [and there is no interpreter]…let him speak to himself and to God…do not forbid to speak in tongues (I Cor. 12:7, 10, 28; 14:2, 4, 5, 14, 18, 27, 39)
…—to—“I forbid you to speak in tongues privately or publicly, with or without interpretation, and if you do so, you can’t serve as an IMB missionary, and you have psychological, emotional or demonic issues and influences effecting your private devotions”?
“Skillful Scripture Study” was the one class I enjoyed teaching the most during my tenure as a Prof at Christ for The Nations Bible College in Dallas,Texas. I endured the angst of many irate students by challenging charismatic myths fostered by those ignoring hermeneutical norms so that they could play fast and loose with a biblical text.
Binding and loosing, Satan comes to kill,steal and destroy, and Pulling down strongholds are but a few of the texts I showed to be selectively abstracted from the contextual flow of a favorite verse.
Selective abstraction is a type of cognitive bias in which terms are taken out of context while everything else in the context is completely ignored. Credo House Ministries posted this great example of how Matthew 18 is often de-contextualized by making it a proof text for having others simply agree together in general prayer.
I selectively abstracted a section to entice you to read the entire artlicle. Now thats funny!
“… I sat there praying with this group of people, saying my “umms” and shaking my head at the appropriate times (I hope). Then something made me hara. I tried to brush it off, but it was too difficult. She said the unthinkable . . . I cannot believe she used this verse. It was manipulative, irresponsible, and downright misleading. What was her crime? She used the “where two or three are gathered in my name . . .” trick. She misused Matthew 18:20. Of course, this is tongue-in-cheek. She did not really have any ill-intentions. She was just following the folklore about this verse, which she had probably heard herself countless times in the past. We have all done it so don’t get smug. Let’s look at the verse.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
It happens all the time: Prayers which invoke the presence of Jesus during the gathering . . . well, so long as there are “two or three.” What does this mean? Does it mean that Christ is more likely to answer your prayer? Does it mean that Christ’s actual presence is in the middle of your prayer circle . . . a ghost, phantom, or floating entity? Maybe he is there holding our hands. And which is it, for goodness’ sake? Two, or three? The idea is this: we have to have more than one person to get this mystical real presence of Christ invoked and some people have made a sacrament out of this.
However, this is not what this verse means. And I do get somewhat red-nosed about this because it can mislead us about the power of God and our prayer life.
Matthew 18:20, like every other passage of Scripture, has a context. When we look at the context we find that the pericope (single unit of thought) in which this verse occurs starts in verse 15…..”
Treven Wax recently wrote that there is a theologian we should all know and I agree.
George Eldon Ladd is said to be one of the most influential scholars of the 1900’s. It was Ladd who popularized the view of the kingdom as two dimensional by describing it with the “already inaugurated -not yet consummated” paradigm.
He argues that there is a tension between the already realized and future eschatology throughout the entire New Testament. While the future Kingdom of God already has broken into the present reality, its fullness remains to be consummated with the second coming.
Now deceased, Ladd is considered a premier Kingdom theologian and any serious study of eschatology should include time invested to read “The Gospel of the Kingdom” and “The Presence of the Future“.
Other great books that I can personally recommend:
“The Blessed Hope“- His central thesis is the second coming is The Blessed Hope, not a pre-tribulational rapture.
“A Theology of the New Testament“- Ladd’s magisterial work on New Testament.
It is rare to see such mutual respect, graciousness, and kinship between two men holding contrasting views like these. How can that happen? They confess they are friends.
When Wilson explains he has received “spirit prompted” words from God [words of knowledge], Driscoll nails him as a charismatic in denial. Their relational laughter is priceless!
Whatever camp you are in, you are guaranteed to enjoy this interview.
I absolutely loved it.