Aim For Biblical Literacy

I professionally teach and write about Theology… and I take that seriously. ⁣

It is a huge responsibility and it shouldn’t be taken lightly or flippantly. ⁣

It should be backed by faithful study and skilled preparation… ⁣

And it is. ⁣

Yet, I don’t often directly quote or reference Scripture in my posts. ⁣

I have actually been discredited for this, and have even had fellow influencers attempt to use this fact to provoke me in comments. ⁣

However, I aim to model Biblical and theological literacy and to avoid the faulty method of “proof texting”. ⁣

Proof Texting is the use of a verse or passage to support one’s point, and it is limited at best and dangerous at worst. ⁣

Proof Texting “proves” that a person has committed many verses and passages to memory and filed them under appropriate topical “headings” in their repertoire… ⁣

But it doesn’t display biblical (or theological) literacy. ⁣

Literacy is displayed authentically through a wide, nuanced, organic, logical, contextualized understanding of Scripture that bleeds into and through everything that a person says. ⁣

You can SEE a person’s aptitude with Scripture and theology whether they ever directly quote a verse or not. ⁣

And what you can often SEE when lists of references are used as “proof” of one’s point in an argument… is a lack of literacy. ⁣

Proof Texting is: ⁣
Contextual Distortion- Each passage listed as one’s argumentative “proof” is lifted from its informing context and stripped of its literary significance, diversity, and nuance. While verses or passages may *seem* to be discussing a similar theme, they are each distinct and respect for their context is due. ⁣

Proof Texting is: ⁣
Textual Manipulation- “using” a verse or passage for a desired application is actually an abuse of the Word of God and it isn’t rooted in a proper exegesis of it. ⁣

Distortion and Manipulation are the antithesis of biblical literacy and a sound hermeneutic. ⁣

I pray that I’m modeling the latter here and avoiding the former. ⁣

Be good theologians, friends, and avoid cheapening the Word of God with any short cuts. ⁣

Exegete it well; it is worth it.


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