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30th May 2019
Chalke Talk 74: Have we turned Paul into our ventriloquist’s dummy?

Does part of our misunderstanding around Paul comes from the fact that his letters are so often used to bolster preachers’ pulpits?

As Steve puts it, in this week’s episode of Chalke Talk, “Old-time preachers could get away with yanking a couple of verses out of Paul’s overall thought (or anyone else’s for that matter) out of context, and then ‘spinning’ them as a prop to support their own pre-developed ideas. But we have a name for that now; we call it fake news.”

In Steve’s view, this is so often the case because people fail to realise their own bias and perspective when interpreting ancient passages. A fancy word for this is hermeneutics, which always asks, “what did it mean for its ORIGINAL AUDIENCE, its INITIAL HEARERS or its first readers?”

And where early reformers like Calvin and Luther have gone wrong, and wear many preachers continue to go wrong, is when they refuse to ask this very question.  This predicament we’re in and how we got here is unpacked even more in Steve’s upcoming book “The Lost Message of Paul.”

So. What do you think?  Do you think it is true that bad theology is costing lives?  And, if so, what do YOU think are the best ways of learning how to do better, life-giving theology?


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