Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Year of Ridiculous Biblical Interpretation

This blog post title by Justin Taylor gives you a clue as to how well Rachel Held Evans' presents Scripture.

Thomas Nelson Publishers thought "A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband 'Master'" good enough to print, and the secular media loves it.  The book presents an extension of the argument, "If you say you believe the Bible, then you also believe in stoning people, selling kids into slavery, and turning down shrimp cocktails."  The difference is that the author claims to be a Christian who knows the Bible.

Justin Taylor recommends we read Kathy Keller's review (which I plan on doing and invite you to do the same), while highlighting the following:

  • “you began your project by ignoring (actually, by pretending you did not know about) the most basic rules of hermeneutics and biblical interpretation that have been agreed upon for centuries.”
  • “To insist that it would be ‘picking and choosing’ to preclude the Levitical code from your practice of biblical womanhood is disingenuous, if not outright deceptive.”
  • “In making the decision to ignore the tectonic shift that occurred when Jesus came, you have led your readers not into a better understanding of biblical interpretation, but into a worse one.”
  • “Throughout your book, you have ignored or even hidden from readers the fundamental principles of scriptural interpretation—including the difference between narrative and didactic, as well as the importance of placing commands in their context within redemptive history.”
  • “So ‘love’ is the reason you will reject some parts of the Bible and embrace others? But where do you get your definition of love if not from the Bible itself? And if you say, ‘Parts of the Bible express love, and other parts express power interests,’ you’ve clearly gotten your standard and definition of love from outside the Bible—specifically, from contemporary sensibilities—and these are your ultimate authority and norm.”
  • “You have become what you claim to despise; you have imposed your own agenda on Scripture in order to advance your own goals. In doing so, you have further muddied the waters of biblical interpretation instead of bringing any clarity to the task.”