Perspectives in Theology

Often, whether we know it or not, we interpret things through our personal perspective. We all have natural tendencies to see things one way or another. This tendency is brought upon by how we approach things. When we read the Bible it is no different. Depending on why you turn to the Scriptures, you look at the passages in a new light.

If you turn to the Bible as a devotional, you will pick up personal lessons that the passage has to teach. If you look at it in a Theological study, you will find the theology within the verses.  This leads to not different interpretations, but different emphasis on what is important.

This is the main argument the writer of this article is making, the question he intends to answer is, “Which perspective should we use when studying theology? Just a theological one?” His answer, which I agree with, is: read the same Scripture over ten times with ten different perspectives.

How brilliant this is, each time you reread what is written you gain new knowledge. You pull out new information. We are called by Scripture to meditate over what we read out of the Bible. We are to learn and live our lives according to it. Why would we not go and read the same passage over ten times. Each time it is the same story, yet different. New things can be learned. This will help us gain a full understanding of the Bible and what God reveals to us through it.

As a theologian one must not only worry about the teachings of Scripture, but his own personal life. His own personal walk. It is impossible to work to the best of your ability if you are lacking in your spiritual walk. Thus, if you look at the Bible simply through a Theological Perspective, you will not be successful, you will miss much of what the Bible has to offer us.

http://www.frame-poythress.org/Poythress_books/Symphonic_Theology/bst3.htm

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2 Comments

  1. I’m not sure that i’m tracking with what your saying, so i appologize if i read this incorrectly and am misinterpreting your words. The most frustrating thing in a Bible study is, “What doest that mean to you?” Because the person asked can say that it means God hates black people, and you can’t say they are wrong because it is their opinion. It is what it means “To them.” The Bible was written to mean one thing, there is only one way of interpreting it that is right, and all others are wrong. When God states that he created the heavens and the earth, you can take it at face value and bevlieve God literally spoke the world into being. Or it can “mean to you” that God put the big bang into motion and it took millions of years to come to completion. Whether you want to believe it or not, one is true and the other is false. The Bible is a book. I don’t know many other books that people would read ten ways. Granted, it is the word of God, and we should read it as such; but taking something at face value, and then looking at it with a magnifying glass usually is the best way.

  2. Hmm. It seems that the link has gone dead to my original article. The author put it incredibly nicely and I will try to recreate what he said.

    Taking different perspectives on the same story, take your example of He spoke the world into being. If you go at a Theological perspective you see God’s plan, and His Omnipotence. If you look at it out of a personal study perspective you can gather that God did it as a gift for us, He created a world for us to enjoy.

    Did that clarify? It isn’t interpretation, but the emphasis.


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