Saturday, January 14, 2012

Exegesis and Spirituality

This is somewhat of a different post, in this post I'd like to share a book that I've been reading that is refreshing (jogging my memory) how we need to exegete the Scriptures.  Gordon Fee's "LISTENING TO THE SPIRIT IN THE TEXT," informs us that exegesis and spirituality must not be separated in our approach to Bible study.

This idea or thought is not something new to me, I've always realized that it is the Spirit that gives us understanding of the Bible---as Jesus said, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life" (John 6:63), but Fee's book awakened within me the deep need to blend our exegesis with spirituality.

There are 12 chapters in the book with a total of 163 pages. Fee's book is clear, enjoyable and filled with a scholarly passion for God's living Word. The chapters cover a wide range of pertinent issues that any Christan can relate to.

I'd like to share some of my thoughts on chapter one---exegesis and spirituality completing the circle. Fee describes for us what chapter one is all about when he writes:

What I propose to examine is the interface between exegesis and spirituality, between the historical exercise of digging out the original intent of the text and the experience of hearing the text in the present in terms of both its presupposed and intentional spirituality (p.4).

Fee makes the argument that exegesis and spirituality are often perceived as being unrelated. Fee talks about seminary training where exegesis and spirituality are two distinct tracks of study,while he notes that indeed they are two different academic tracks of study, he contends that they must be brought together or we will lose the ultimate aim of exegesis.

 Under the heading spirituality, Fee sums up the whole idea of Chapter one, where he says so succinctly, "...the proper aim of all true theology is doxology. Theology that does not begin and end in worship is not biblical at all, but is rather the product of western philosophy" (p.5).

I could go on, but let me sum up my thoughts on the idea of joining exegesis and spirituality together---we must strive to  exegete the bible with the higher goal of God's glory---it's always about God's glory. If we lose sight of this idea we are in danger of becoming arrogant and prideful---for we know that knowledge can puff up, let us do all things for God's glory and honor.


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