the inconvenient necessity of understanding the Scriptures

Inconvenient or not, we are stuck with the necessity of exegesis. We have a written word to read and attend to. It is God’s word, or so we believe, and we had better get it right. Exegesis is foundational to Christian spirituality. Foundations disappear from view as a building is constructed, but if the builders don’t build a solid foundation, their building doesn’t last long . . .

. . . Which is to say, the more “spiritual” we are, the more care we must give to exegesis. The more mature we become in the Christian faith, the more exegetically rigorous we must become. This is not a task from which we graduate. These words given to us in our Scriptures are constantly getting overlaid with personal preferences, cultural assumptions, sin distortions, and ignorant guesses that pollute the text. The pollutants are always in the air, gathering dust on our Bibles, corroding our use of the language, especially the language of faith. Exegesis is a dust cloth, a scrub brush, or even a Q-tip for keeping the words clean.

– Eugene Peterson, from Eat This Book






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