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Biblical Hermeneutics: Orderly Thinking
By Louis Rushmore, Editor
Orderly thinking is as essential to valid biblical interpretation as orderliness is necessary and observable in the created universe around us. True science depends upon orderliness of the created universe to arrive at tested and reliable laws of nature. Orderliness is logical, and through logical analysis of the orderly universe, knowledge can be discerned and accumulated.
is organized thinking,
as opposed to unorganized thinking. Respecting carefully worded
“…there is no middle ground between a proposition
being true and being false
Word of God must be
handled aright, however, before one can ascertain the meaning and
of even divine truth (2 Timothy 2:15). “To be rational, one
must draw only such
conclusions as are warranted by the evidence which he has” (
capable of thinking clearly in a number of areas, and who use thinking
all their waking moments daily, vainly attempt to dismiss orderly
appealing to orderly thinking. “One might attempt to deny the
need to honor the
law of rationality, but the very moment he begins to give
‘reasons’ for denying
this law he is, in fact, admitting the truth of it” (Pugh
115). Over and over
again, “[t]he Bible honors the law of rationality.
…Acts 17:2-3…” (Pugh 115),
and the footnote in the NASV for
Valid biblical interpretation depends on discerning the message of God in his revelation, though the revelation from God is what it is irrespective of whether mankind handles it aright. However, to comprehend the Word of God, one must bring as much objectivity as he possibly can to the process of biblical interpretation in order to succeed at biblical interpretation. We must concede that “[a]ny interpreter’s work is influenced by his own attitudes, prejudices, and personality” (Flatt 60). However, divine instruction in the Bible is not so vague as to be overpowered by examination by honest hearts. Honest hearts will employ orderly thinking to the interpretation of the Word of God—to discern the message that God conveyed rather than some supposed divine equivalence. We humans need less commentary or more unadorned translation (and application) of the Holy Word of God.
Flatt, Bill. “The Function of
Presuppositions and Attitudes in
Biblical Interpretation.” Biblical
Principles and Practice. F. Furman Kearley and others eds.
Pugh, Charles C., III. “Logic and
Reason in Interpretation.” Biblical
Interpretation: An Ancient Book
Speaks to a Modern World. Duane Warden, ed.
Warren, Thomas B. Logic
- - -. When Is an