Hermeneutics: Addendum

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Theological debate sometimes turns divisive, making major arguments over interpretation and opinion. There is a better approach.

I was recently asked by a friend who had read my article whether I disapproved or approved of the debate over hermeneutical methods. We sat down and talked about the issue for about an hour–and the time was fruitful, uplifting, and a blessing.

As I listened to and pondered his questions, I thought it necessary to add a point of clarification to my article on hermeneutics. I am not opposed to debate over hermeneutics, but find it a worthwhile, necessary, and critical aspect of spiritual growth, scriptural knowledge, and fellowship with God. The debate, though, should never become the dominant issue.

Civil discussion, respectful debate is healthy; arguing for the sake of arguing or in order to make sure you are proven right is unhealthy. The best way to ensure the discussion is educational and civil is to (1) try to understand the position of those with whom you disagree, (2) respect other views, and (3) ensure all you do brings glory to God and will contribute to his mission.

About John L. Rothra
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