Eric at “A Pilgrim’s Progress” wrote a great post called “A Personal Preference Method of Biblical Interpretation.”
He is examining his own method of biblical interpretation, and finds that he typically interprets Scripture in a way that agrees with what he already believes.
I think this is something that we all do… often.
Consider this paragraph from Eric:
Let me give a few examples. I like meeting in homes as a local body of believers. Therefore, I find evidence for this in the bible and say we should all do this. I don’t particularly like the idea of washing feet or giving holy kisses. Therefore, although I see evidence for these practices, I say that they are examples of loving behavior but not things we are supposed to be doing. As for giving to the poor, I’ll just suggest that this is optional and a nice idea.
So, how do we move away from “the personal preference method of biblical interpretation”?
I’m not sure that we can move completely away from it. But, there are ways that we can limit the effect. For example, we can discuss issues with people who disagree with us – not simply to present our own case, but also in order to understand their argument.
I fail at this alot, but it is often my goal.
What are other ways that we can limit interpreting the Bible in a way that agrees with what we already believe?