Hermeneutics as Spiritual Formation

We're in a season of discernment at our church, and yesterday David Kneip, a colleague at ACU, gave a presentation about how we read and interpret the Bible.

During David's presentation, he made a point that I think is very insightful. David mentioned how, in our faith tradition, we've always worked hard to "obey" the Bible. And while that's a commendable goal, David pointed out that this desire has had some unintended consequences.

Specifically, the desire to "obey" the Bible shapes how we think about God. God becomes a Rule Giver, and our relationship with God then reduced to how well we follow the rules. And that whole scheme, David pointed out, makes us very anxious. What if we get it wrong and break the rules?

There's been amble commentary on how this way of reading the Bible creates anxiety. But the deeper point I discerned in what David shared was how hermeneutics functions as spiritual formation.

Hermeneutics shapes our hearts and minds. Hermeneutical strategies can habit us into an anxious posture, making us more neurotic in our relationship with God.

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