Monday, July 31, 2006

Is The Bible a Ouija Board in Disguise - Part 3

This post is a continuation from my series Is The Bible a Ouija Board in Disguise. To catch up, I would encourage you to read the first two posts.

Is The Bible a Ouija Board in Disguise - Part 1

Is The Bible a Ouija Board in Disguise - Part 2

Insufficiently Analogous Situations

The most subtle of all misapplications of Scripture occurs when readers correctly interpret passages in their literary and historical contexts but then bring them to bear on situations where they simply do not apply. The temptation of Christ well illustrates the subtlety and sinister nature of this misapplication. Using a cunning ploy, Satan quoted Psa 91:11–12 and challenged Jesus saying, “If you are the Son of God … throw yourself down. For it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone’ ” (Mt 4:5). Here Satan asks Jesus to display God’s miraculous ability to preserve his life. Certainly Jesus himself had such power. What is more, the psalmist states that God promises safety and protection to anyone who “dwells in the shelter of the Most High” (Psa 91:1). The problem here is that the devil’s challenge confuses the psalmist’s reference to “unintentional stumbling” with taking a deliberate jump off the Temple pinnacle. The psalmist’s intent here is not that we test God’s faithfulness to his Word by manufacturing situations in which we try to force him to act in certain ways. Rather, it points out his providential care for his children. Jesus thus refutes the devil with another text of Scripture that strictly forbids presuming on the grace of God (Deut 6:16).17 No passage of Scripture can be casually or carelessly applied to any and/or every situation.

1 comment:

Pastor Ryan said...

It turns my stomach when I sit in a Bible Study class and people take verses out of context. Many make verses say whatever they want them to say. For instance where Jesus says, where two or three are gathered in my name there am I with them. If one where to look at the context clearly the verse is dealing with church discipline. This post is a great reminder to always use good hermeneutics when interpreting Scripture.
This is one reason why I am sold on expository preaching in the local church.