Thursday, January 2, 2014
Think Faith: New Blog
I invite you to join me at my new blog "Think Faith."
It started bugging me that while "Flee Naked" may be a catchy name that makes people take more than a glance, to get the name I was basically prooftexting. The idea comes from Mark 14:51-52 where a young man escapes capture by slipping out of his robe and running off naked. My take on it was that there are many things in this world, even good things (like the young man's clothing) that can be used to hold us captive to sin. We need to be willing to let go of these things and escape from sin, even if that means embarassment or awkwardness.
Now, that is all well and good, except that I'm not actually sure that is the point Mark had in mind when he recorded it.While "fleeing naked" may be a principle you can argue from other places in Scripture, THIS verse isn't addressing that issue.
There is a danger when we allow ourselves to read our own ideas into a text from The Bible. This is called, "reader response." Reader response is a method of interpretation when you ask, "What does this mean to me?" Where as the important thing to get from reading Scripture is, "What did the author intend to convey?"
See, if we stretch the text beyond it's intended meaning, we may not drift off into heresy right away, but we set a dangerous habit of believing our own ideas/feelings over what God has said. Often times we do this with verses that can be pulled out of context to be used as a clever little one-liner to get across a point or to encourage during certain circumstances.
Sometimes this isn't necesserily a big deal because the idea we are reading into the text is actually a sound Biblical principle found elsewhere .. but our prooftexting says it more cleverly. Hence "Flee Naked."
Like I said, not necessarily a big deal, except that it sets a precedent and creates a habit that is bad Bible interpretation that can cause all sorts of trouble when the principle is NOT something found elsewhere in the Bible, and we basically start putting words in God's mouth, claiming He has said or meant things which He never said or meant.
We do not need to bend and stretch The Bible to say certain things or sound a certain way, especially taking verses out of context and creating a meaning in them to say things that other verses already say instead. The Truth of God's Word is clear and robustly upheld when you examine the evidence from logic, reason, science, and history.
God has not required us to leave our brain behind as we follow Him. Indeed in Matthew 22 we are commanded to love the Lord with all of our MIND (v37). The Christian faith is not blind faith. Is is a thoughtful and logical faith.
So join me as I think about faith.