Understanding The Details And The Big Picture Of The Bible
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Should I Really Rip Out My Eye To Resist Sin?
This season on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and host, Dr. Josh Philpot are before a live audience seeking to answer questions that are on the hearts and minds of those in attendance. Today, the questioner asks about reading the Bible and paying attention to the details while also remembering the big picture of the Bible. She wants to know how to do this and what it should look like in her daily life.
Dr. Caldwell shares that every statement we have in the Scriptures has a context, and that is where we start. We will always be working from the larger picture to the details. So when we come to a detailed statement that we are trying to understand, we want to look first at the immediate context. He explains how each context setting is important to gain a proper understanding and meaning of Scripture. Dr. Caldwell says we do this sort of thing in our conversations with each other all the time. He then gives us an example of how we do this very thing using the word "key".
Dr. Caldwell tells us that we have to take the biblical statements and ask, what did this mean to those who first received it. The question is never what does this mean to me, but what does it mean. We need to know the author's intended meaning when he gave it to the original audience.
Live Out The Christian Life
Once we know and understand this, we can take the verse and principlize it. We do this in a way that takes the true meaning, and then we ask: what is the principle, how do I bring it into the present, and how do I plug it into my walk with God. We want to take that truth and be faithful to its original meaning, making this a constant practice as we live out the Christian life.
Dr. Philpot shares a few verses from Proverbs 3 and asks Dr. Caldwell if he can help us understand how these verses may or may not relate to what he has shared. What we have in the book of Proverbs, says Dr. Caldwell, is not the same as what we find in other books of the Bible. He shares that there are other important factors that we also must pay attention to when seeking to determine the meaning. He tells us that Proverbs is a wisdom book.
There are some chapters of Proverbs that tend to hang together. But often, many of the wisdom sayings found here stand on their own. Something else that Dr. Caldwell points out is that Proverbs is among the books of the Old Testament. This is yet another consideration we must think about when seeking to determine understanding and meaning. The Old Testament was given in the context of a theocracy, so some of their laws won’t necessarily travel over into our day.
The Big Picture Of The Bible
Dr. Caldwell tells us that keeping the big picture of the Bible in mind while we do this will not always be easy. First, because not even the big picture of the Bible is going to be answered the same by all. He believes the big picture of the Bible is the glory of God. It is the self-revelation of God. It is God making Himself known, and He is chiefly and preeminently known in His Son. Dr. Caldwell shares that this how he reads the Bible, always with this in mind. Further sharing with us that when he comes to a passage he asks, what do I see about God in this passage, what do I see about His character. He asks, is there something in this passage that informs me directly or indirectly about Your Son?
How we go about doing this in a regular ongoing way while not being hurried, will help us to grow and not become paralyzed. Dr. Caldwell explains that we live in light of what we know, and we are going to be learning for the rest of our lives. So we don’t need to live in a sort of paralyzed way, not knowing what to do until we have studied everything there is to know on a given issue. We need to live according to what we understand at any given time. What we know and understand right now is what we are to obey. God has given us relationships and put us in places where we have the ability to learn and grow, in our families, in the church, through godly friendships, etc.
Grow In Greater Understanding
So we need not worry about being stuck or stymied, we have means that the Lord has provided for us to grow in greater understanding. However, we must be mindful that we will never know everything on this side of heaven. Knowing, understanding, and obeying are not the same things. What we do with what we know is key. What we do know is that what God has revealed is trustworthy and true, and we can walk in what we know. This is our aim, we walk in the light that we have, and we strive to be obedient to what we know.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
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