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“Proper” and “Rightly”: How Conservative Evangelicals Creatively Manage the Scriptures

I’ve noticed that some conservative evangelicals often use “properly” and “rightly” to manage the possibilities of the Scriptures.  

For instance, in the recent interview between Tony Jones and John Chisham, John suggests that if a believer has not had an emotional collapse of self, a salvatory moment, then the legitimacy of their beliefs are open to question.  It is not enough to profess Jesus’ name and believe, “we have to understand Jesus rightly” and that means being “born again” in this specific way.  In another recent example, Dr. Malcolm B. Yarnell II uses “proper” on multiple occasions throughout his paper ("Shall we ‘Build Bridges’ or ‘Pull Down Strongholds’"?) to modify “understanding,” “interpretation,” and “translation.”    There is a “proper understanding” of Paul’s Mars Hill sermon and it is more “confrontational” and not “dialogical,” as Brian McLaren and some others have improperly claimed.    

What are the effects of the use of “proper” and “rightly”?  

I’m arguing that when believers use words such as “rightly” and “proper,” they effectively split the community of believers into two camps.  There are those with the “proper understanding” on the inside and there are those folk with an improper understanding on the outside.  To be clear, I don’t want to suggest that splitting the community of believers into two camps is necessarily wrong or misguided.  Neither do I want to suggest that splitting the community in half is necessary.  My point is simply that when believers use “rightly” and “properly” they are effectively splitting the community in half.  

The use of “rightly” and “proper” to split the community in half is an extra biblical practice.  Chisham, for instance, refers to John chapter 3 to support his case about “rightly” understanding what it means to follow the narrow path.  In response, Jones aptly points out that        

…He [Jesus] doesn’t say - what it doesn’t say is He who believes in Me rightly like you just said, see you took what Jesus says, “you have to believe,” Even what Paul says, “you have to believe” and you’ve added now this adverb on top of it that you have to believe rightly; that there’s a certain particular way that one has to believe in Jesus. Ok?  

Or take Yarnell as another instance.  He suggests that there is one “proper understanding,” one “proper interpretation” and one “proper translation” that gets down to the bottom of Paul’s Mars Hill sermon.  But, in line with Jones’ critique of Chisham, it’s important to note that Paul does not make this claim.  Paul articulates the Mars Hill sermon and Yarnell creatively modifies Paul’s words.  So, my point is simple: both Chisham and Yarnell appeal to extra biblical words and phrases to support their arguments and beliefs about “rightly” understanding Jesus or a “proper” understanding of Paul’s Mars Hill sermon.    

Not surprisingly, as Chisham and Yarnell demonstrate, believers that use “proper” and “rightly” to split the community in half, usually situate themselves among those privileged few that have “rightly” grasped the Scriptures.  In other words, both Chisham and Yarnell imagine themselves as insiders that “rightly” understand.  With their “proper interpretation” practically assured, there’s little possibility of them getting it wrong or missing the point.  

To rehash the three points  I’ve made about using “rightly” and “proper” to manage interpretations of Scripture:

1.  Using “rightly” and “proper” effectively split’s the community of believers into two camps—insiders and outsiders.

2.  “Rightly” and “proper” are extra biblical means of defining belief in Jesus and Paul‘s letters.

3.  Using “rightly” and “proper” are usually practices carried out by insiders and it privileges the insider’s camp over the outsider‘s camp.            

So, in short, talking about “rightly” understanding some piece of Scripture or having a “proper interpretation” is a way that some conservative evangelicals manage the abundant possibilities opened up by the Holy Bible and a way that they sustain their particular visions of faith.

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Re: “Proper” and “Rightly”: How Conservative Evangelicals Creat

So if I understand you rightly, everyone who uses those terms are promoting an improper understanding of Scripture?

Re: “Proper” and “Rightly”: How Conservative Evangelicals Creat

Nice :-)

I wouldn’t say they are promoting an improper understanding of Scripture.

I would say that their faith is supported by extra-biblical appeals. And like Tony Jones did with John Chisham, my aim is to point that out, to bring it to light, to push for the believer to account for something they (perhaps) had never considered, to break open some possibilities.

Re: “Proper” and “Rightly”: How Conservative Evangelicals Creat

glad you appreciate the humor in my question ;-)

I am trying to understand the kind of possibilities to which you are referring. May I ask you to work with me on an example?

Here is a passage for consideration

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Here is one possible interpretation, “Jesus teaches here that he was the way for the Jews, but he did not mean to eliminate other ways or other truths that could lead to God. Different religions and cultures have different ways, and this does not invalidate the intent of what Jesus said here to the Jews.”

So given that there is no right and proper understanding of these words, would you agree that this interpretation is acceptable? Or would you say it is in error?

'I am the way, and the truth, and the life'

I think that your ‘possible interpretation’ is on the right lines, but there is a point in the argument at which I think it ‘right’ or ‘proper’ to go in a different direction to the one suggested. I agree with Jacob that exegesis can be used in the manner he describes to defend prior doctrinal interests and prejudices; I don’t like the divisiveness any more than he does; and I think that it is entirely right and proper to deconstruct these power plays. But I would say, first, that it is not just conservative evangelicals who are guilty of this - we all do it in one way or another; and secondly, that the answer lies not in abandoning the search for right and proper interpretations, but to go about that search with greater humility and respect for the perspectives of others - in other words, with a desire to learn collaboratively. That includes listening to the conservatives. I haven’t read Yarnell’s paper yet, but from Jacob’s account, I suspect that I am more likely to agree with Yarnell than with McLaren, though as with J.R. Miller’s example, I imagine that the whole debate will have been misconstructed. Now there’s humility for you!

Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ (John 14:6)

Jesus’ exclusivist statement about the salvation of Israel needs to be read, at least in the first place, in the context of the story that is being told. We do violence to Jesus’ intent if we cut it from that narrative and make it a universal, context-free, self-interpreting dogma meaning something like ‘if you want to go to heaven, you have to believe in Jesus’.

The statement occurs in the middle of a difficult and rather confused conversation that Jesus has with his disciples about his imminent death. Judas has just left the house with the intention of betraying Jesus to the Jewish authorities. Jesus then tells the disciples: ‘Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him’ (John 13:31). By alluding to Daniel’s vision of the Son of man receiving ‘dominion and glory and a kingdom’ from the throne of God, he reminds his disciples that he and they are on a journey of faithful suffering that will lead to vindication and the giving of the ‘kingdom’ to the saints of the Most High.

At this point he must make that journey alone, but the time will come when they will have to follow him down that narrow and painful road leading to life: ‘Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward (13:36). In fact, in a figurative sense he will come and take them to his Father’s house and the comfort and vindication that awaits them there. He will ensure that when they face the same hostility and violence that he is about to face, they do not need to be afraid: they can trust God at that; they can trust Jesus at that moment, because he has gone ahead of them (14:1-2).

When Thomas asks how they are to find this path of suffering and vindication at the right hand of the Father, Jesus replies, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (14:6). The only way that oppressed Israel will be vindicated and the reign of God restored will be through Jesus, who has made himself the Way to new life for Israel, and who has called his disciples to follow him down that road. The conversation then shifts from the question of the Way of salvation for Israel to the question of whether the Father is truly revealed in Jesus (14:7-11).

So John 14:6 is a statement about the salvation of oppressed Israel from the wrath of God. But I do not think that this then allows us to say that other religions and cultures have their own equally legitimate ways of reaching God. That is simply not the issue here. The historical significance of Jesus’ death is that the family of Abraham, in the national form that it had taken as Israel, was saved from destruction: Jesus provided an alternative Way, a Way of faithful suffering, that would lead to the life of the coming age. But what has been saved is a covenantally defined community that regards itself as uniquely called to be God’s ‘new creation’ or chosen people or authentic humanity in the midst of the nations. We should not lose sight of the uniqueness of this vocation just because we have contextualized the saving significance of Jesus’ death.

Re: 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life'

Is it entirely right and proper to assume that every time Jesus refers to himself as the ‘Son of Man’, and possibly in his use of the words ‘glory’/’glorified’, he is invoking Daniel 7:13? Why shouldn’t he also be referring to ‘Son of Man’ as in Ezekiel, the prophet, God’s servant, or even just ‘Son of Man’ generically, as ‘one like a man’, or ‘one who is very man’, or ‘the representative of man’?

In John 14:6, we could also take account of how Jesus’s words are used elsewhere in the gospel.

The sevenfold repetition of I am (bread of life; light of the world; the gate; good shepherd; resurrection and the life; the way, the truth and the life; the true vine), and the climactic ‘before Abraham was born, I am’, draw attention to the association Jesus makes between himself and the ‘I am’ of God.  This is an association which is elsewhere underscored by his praxis, as the person and place where forgiveness and cleansing were to be found, demonstrating that he is the new temple (John 2:19-22), the place and the person in whom the Father was now to be found. He is the one, John declares, who ‘tabernacled’ amongst us (John 14:1), reminding us of the tabernacle as the place of God’s dwelling amongst Israel in the desert. In the renewed people of God, he is the chief cornerstone of the temple - or the one who holds the whole building together.

The way might remind us of ‘the narrow (thlibo) way’ Matthew 7:14, and possibly the proclamation by John from Isaiah - ‘Make straight the way for the Lord’ - John 1:23. It certainly finds an echo in Acts - ‘instructed in the way of the Lord’ - Acts 18:25; ‘explained to him the way of God more adequately’ - Acts 18:26; ‘publicly maligned the way’ - Acts 19:9; ‘a great disturbance about the way’ - Acts 19:23. The way acquired a meaning which was wider than simply ‘the way of suffering through following in Jesus’s footsteps’ (though that must have been part of the meaning). It had come to mean a way of being the people of God which did not require initiation into Judaism, observance of the Torah, and the focus on the temple at Jerusalem as the expression of God’s presence amongst his people.

Jesus’s self-identification as the truth reminds us of his debate with the Jews in John 8, where truth is opposed to the lies the Jews were telling about him, but which is taken further, in Jesus’s description of his teaching as the truth; that the Jews are in slavery because of their slavery to sin and that Jesus himself could set them free from this slavery; that they are not true children of Abraham, for all their racial pedigree; that those who keep his words will never see death; that he is greater than Abraham who died; that he not only pre-existed Abraham, who rejoiced at seeing his day, but that he prexisted Abraham as God - the ‘I am’ (for which the Jews picked up stones to stone him).

The life reminds us of the frequent occasions in John that the word life is used, perhaps best summed up in John 5:26 as the very life of God which is also the life of the Son, to whom authority has been given to grant life (5:25). This life is the life of the Spirit (John 6:63), given to those who believe (verse 64) at the ascension (verse 62).

For these reasons, it seems that it is right and proper to understand John 14:6 as exclusivist, historical, and also universal truth. But I wouldn’t want to be thought of as a very right and proper little evangelical, or worse, even a modernist evangelical.

Re: 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life'

It seems that if some truth is historically situated in some time and place, then it isn’t universal. That truth and its various adherents and practicioners may well strive to make it universal, but I haven’t seen any historical examples of such a universal to warrant my belief. 


If a truth is ahistorical and not situated in any concrete time and place, then it seems we can call it universal.  However, I’ve never seen a universal.  And I’m inclined to believe that when I hear someone talk about universals in this manner, it’s a case of historically situated story tellers trying real hard to make their concrete time and place appear universal—timeless and placeless. 

My point is that I don’t see how historical and universal go together, as you say they do.  Can you help me out here? 

Re: 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life'

Why can universal truths not also be situated and expressed in particular contexts of time and space? If they were universal, one would expect to see them operate in time and space, as well as being propositions that operated in an abstract realm. Universal physical laws are demonstrated in particular experimental tests. This may not be agreeable to the postmodern outlook, but it does not mean it is not true! Universal does not mean ahistorical; perhaps rather trans-historical?

In John 14:6, Jesus does not relate truth to any particular historical context other than his own person. The astonishing feature of the assertion is that truth is to be found in a person, rather than in objective proof.  (A highly postmodern concept, but here turning postmodern on its head!).

A further place to look for Jesus’s meaning of the word truth is in the extended discussion in John 8. Here there is a  particular context, Jesus’s encounter with the Jews, and a historical background, the slavery of the free descendants of Abraham to pagan Romans. But the movement of the discourse is always away from the particularity of the context towards universal issues. Slavery to sin moves away from the more immediate idea of slavery to the pagans, which is raised by the talk about racial descent from Abraham, and moves towards the more universally underlying reality of sin. Freedom from death - is likewise an issue of universal truth, intimately connected with freedom from the slavery of sin. The Jews immediately latch onto the universal issue, and understand it as such. The conclusion of the discourse, ‘before Abraham was born, I am’ - might seem puzzling to us, but not to the Jews, who take its puzzling particularity as an assertion of association with deity by Jesus.

Similar things could be said about life, as Jesus uses the word in John’s gospel.

I’d have thought John’s gospel was a good example of the historical and universal going together. 


Re: 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life'

If they were universal, one
would expect to see them operate in time and space, as well as being
propositions that operated in an abstract realm. 

How do you know a universal from a situated occurance?  How can you distinguish between the two? 


It seems to me that some phenomenon that you can actually see is necessarily situated where you see it occur.  It is really easy to then make the claim that what you see in your sitautated time and place is universal.  But you claiming that what you see in your situated time and place is universal, by no means makes it universal. 

For myself, I see someone telling a very situated story and trying really hard to make into a Big Universal Story. 

Universal physical
laws are demonstrated in particular experimental tests.

We aren’t talking about physical laws, we’re talking about Jesus and how believers follow in his way and proclaim the good news.

But I would add that even "physical laws" are dependent on certain conditions.  


If they were universal, one
would expect to see them operate in time and space, as well as being
propositions that operated in an abstract realm. 

I think you’ve got it backwards.  You don’t see universals operating in specific times and places.  You see specific occurances happening in situated times and places and then you are ascribing to what you saw a universal status. 

In John 14:6, Jesus does not relate truth to any particular historical context other than his own person. The astonishing feature of the assertion is that truth is to be found in a person, rather than in objective proof.  (A highly postmodern concept, but here turning postmodern on its head!).

Whether or not Jesus relates the truth to any particular historical context misses the point.  The point is that when Jesus said those words he was in a particular time and place.  And when John wrote those words down, he too was in a particular time and place.  And when you read those words that John wrote and Jesus said, you too are in a particular time and place.  

John’s gospel is an example of a man writing words down in a time and place. 

Re: 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life'

I agree with Andrew that it is not just conservative evangelicals that strive for right and proper interpretations. That’s a good point.

However, I don’t agree with Andrew that we should continue to strive for right and proper interpretations. I think the desire for a right and proper interpretation indicates a drive for a sense of certainty—which is perhaps a movement toward the abandonment of trust and faith.

Instead, I think that we should abandon our claims to have the right and proper interpretation—which is a humbling admission to make and an embrace of trust and faith.

Re: 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life'

Jacob, I realize that that is admirably post-modern, but I think that the church betrays its biblical vocation if it does not seek to understand as best it can what that vocation is.

Biblical faith is not a matter of individuals privately determining how to feel most comfortable with their beliefs. At least that sort of personal belief-management has to take place within a corporate self-understanding that must somehow be loyal to its biblical origins. That doesn’t have to be understood in terms of a ‘drive for a sense of certainty’. But I think there has to be an element of corporate hermeneutical responsibility involved. So I think we should ‘continue strive for right and proper interpretations’, but I would put the emphasis on ‘continue to strive’ rather than on ‘right and proper’.

"Trust and faith’ are not ends in their own right. You have to have trust and faith in something. And the question ‘in what?’ has to be addressed. I don’t think an existentialist faith in God as the ground of our being sort of thing is any improvement on the modern evangelical personal gospel of salvation.

Re: 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life'

I agree. I should have been clearer. Individual believers are part of communities of believers and those communities fashion the limits of legitimate interpretations.

Trust and faith in the way of Jesus. But the way of Jesus is open to multiple interpretations.

Re: 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life'

We can parse the words of John ad nauseum and come up with limitless interpretations. We need to look at this verse in light of the rest of the Bible. When this is done we see that Jesus is the Son of God the Father. His substitutionary death and resurrection paid the penalty for our sin and made the only way for us to live eternally with the Father and the Son on the new earth. Appropriating this free gift of His purchased salvation and seeking to live the life he prescribes in Scripture is the only way to the Father.
Simplistic, yes. The Bible isn’t hard to understand. It’s just hard to believe, failing faith.
God bless y’all. In Him, Woody

Re: “Proper” and “Rightly”: How Conservative Evangelicals Creat

The possibilities that I speak of draw from the examples I spoke about in the original post.

Who is Jesus? I have no desire to “nail that down,” as John Chisham does. I say Jesus is who the Bible says he is.

Do emergent believers need a statement of faith? As John Chisham suggests they must. Not really. Again, the Bible is my statement of faith.

By possibilities, I mean that we don’t need to nail down the proper, right, one and only, true and unquestionable interpretation. We may have a strong desire for that sense of certainty, but we don’t need to nail anything down.

I think we should fearfully trust in God and follow as best we can in the way of Jesus. And leave it at that.

Re: “Proper” and “Rightly”: How Conservative Evangelicals Creat

Jacob, thanks for your further clarification.

I also agree with the other observation that using the labels, “conservative” and “evangelical” is a weakness in your point. If these words distort their message, then they must also distort your message. As a matter of course, if you really believed there was no “proper” understanding of Scripture, you would not even be making this post. But because you do make this post, you make clear that you think there is a right and wrong. You make clear that those you label “evangelical/conservative” are wrong and you are right.

Now if I understand correctly your response to my first question, you are suggesting that there is no universal truth, except, of course, for the truth you posit here that “there is no universal truth.” Yet since you are a product of your time and culture, why should I be persuaded to embrace your culturally-conditioned and transitory truth? How is it that your truth is universal when all other truths are temporal? And, how did you discover this one universal truth?

You have a gift for logical paradox Jacob and I look forward to your answer :-)

Re: “Proper” and “Rightly”: How Conservative Evangelicals Creat

I wouldn’t say that there are "proper" understandings of Scripture.

I would be more inclined to say that there are multiple understandings of Scripture, which is a point that is hard to deny. 

I would add that some understandings I agree with and am more closely aligned with than other understandings.  Conservative evangelicals often happen to offer an interpretation that I strongly disagree with for a lot of different reasons on a lot of different points.  I try to flesh these concerns out in essays here at OST

A point that should be kept in the foreground, I think, is that Jesus didn’t say anything about a "universal truth."  I’m often puzzled at why so many Christians hang their faith around such tokens of modern epistemology.

I am as I believe we all are (now there’s a Big claim for you :-)) situated in concrete times and places.  It’s a situational bet I’m making—as opposed to the universalist bet you’re making.  And I think that regardless of what truth you align yourself with you are alighning yourself with a contextually dependent understanding of that truth.   

The story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is a story that has a long and glorious and somtimes troubled history.  But to be clear, it is a story told and brought to life in a great variety of times and places by concrete people and in each telling that story is artfully constituted.  There isn’t One Big Jesus Story, at least none that have stood the vissicitudes of the various times and places of their telling.  To believe that the specific story that we happen to hear and that we happen to tell is The Story To End All Other Stories is to (I believe) basically blind oneself to this long and varied history and to our mundane and rather small place in it.  And, I would add, it is to abandon any genuine sense of humility. 

My understanding is as situated as anyone else’s story.  I don’t particularly expect you to adopt my understanding.  I just want a place to speak my piece about what I believe and hopefully inspire some illuminating and challenging discussion about the mountain and mystery of God that we are climbing.  

Re: “Proper” and “Rightly”: How Conservative Evangelicals Creat

Isn’t the word “rightly” taken from 2 Tim 2:15? “rightly dividing the word of truth” in the KJV which is what many conservatives grew up reading. If you’re asking why they use the words rightly and proper, I think that is the reason. The TNIV says “correctly handles the word of truth.”

To the question whether or not there is a “proper” understanding of scripture I would need to know your interpretation of 2 Tim 2:15?

Rightly directing the word of truth

Somewhat in Jacob’s defence I would point out that Paul is not thinking of the scriptures when he urges Timothy to present himself to God as a competent and reliable workman who ‘rightly directs or cuts the word of truth’.

The ‘word of truth’ is Paul’s ‘gospel’, which is here presented as a two-part announcement:

i) that salvation has been made available to God’s ‘elect’, his chosen people (that is, salvation from the destruction of war against Rome) through the resurrection Jesus, who is descended from David (2 Tim. 2:8-10);

ii) that those who suffer and die with him (as I would put it, the community of the Son of man) will also be raised with him and will share in his vindication on the day of Christ’s appearing (2 Tim. 2:10-13; cf. 1:12; 4:8).

That is the truth that must be safeguarded from corruption by those who hold, for example, that the resurrection has already happened (2:17-18). It is the good news of Israel’s salvation and of the eventual vindication of the suffering elect. Paul is adamant that this particular, historically contextualized truth must be correctly handled.

Re: Rightly directing the word of truth

Ok good. So in Paul’s day, there were those that held that resurrection had already happened. Within that historical context, that would be an example of someone improperly handling the word of truth. But in order for the text to be relevant and living today, it needs to be recontextualized.

Was not Paul effectively splitting the “believers” into two camps—those believing the resurrection had already happened and those who did not—and telling Timothy to take his stand in one of those camps?

Are you, Jacob, saying that there is no “proper” understanding of scripture? So if Yarnell in his paper wrote “an understanding of scripture that is not supported by extra-biblical appeals” would that be better than writing “proper understanding of scripture?”

Re: Rightly directing the word of truth

Yeah, I think it would be an easy case to make that Paul split believers into two (or more) camps on multiple occasions. Paul also worked to re-join rifts between the young community of believers.

To be clear, I’m not saying that there are "proper" or improper understandings of Scripture.

All that I’m saying is that appealing to "proper" 1) splits the community of believers into camps and I’m saying that 2) it is a rhetorical move that is extra-biblical. Another popular, extra-biblical way for beleivers to split the community in half is to appeal to "homosexuality." See my posts here for my understanding of "homosexuality" and the Bible.

One could and I’m sure many have, split the community of believers into camps by appealing to thouroughly biblical rhetorics.

Re: Rightly directing the word of truth

Okay I see. So what you oppose is not that there are proper and improper understandings of scripture. What you oppose is the rhetoric used to impose a particular interpretation of scripture when that interpretation is still up for grabs?

In otherwords, when there’s a controversial issue or someone is arguing a point, they should not use the words “proper” or “rightly” because that would not be acknowledging the intent of everyone involved in the discussion to arrive at a “proper” or “right” interpretation of scripture.

Am I tracking with you?

Re: Rightly directing the word of truth

As far as I’m concerned, interpretations are more or less always up for grabs.

Using “proper” and “rightly” is a kind of rhetoric that attempts to lock down a particular interpretation. What really irks me is when people use extra-biblical rhetoric in an attempt to lock down their biblical interpretation. So, for instance, when Chisham says that you have to believe “rightly,” he’s basically trying to lock down his biblical understanding of what it means to be “born again” by using extra-biblical words and phrases.

Jesus doesn’t say that you have to believe “rightly,” but Chisham does. Jesus doesn’t talk about “homosexuals,” but a lot of angry conservatives do. A lot of folks use words—like “rightly,” “proper,” and “homosexual”—like bludgeons, to impose and enforce their very specific interpretations of the Holy Bible as if those very specific interpretations were The One And Only Possible Interpretations. And then to put some icing on the cake, some might even say they are reading the bible “literally.”

I think that we should stick close to the Word. If Jesus didn’t say we need to have a “proper interpretation,” then why should those who say they follow Jesus insist that there is a “proper interpretation”?

Re: “Proper” and “Rightly”: How Conservative Evangelicals Creat

I agree that many conservatives grew up on the KJV. Many conservatives also grew up proof texting, which is perhaps something we are all guilty of at some point.

I also agree with Andrew. Paul’s talking about “my gospel, for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal.” In other words, Paul is not talking about universal truth or objective certainty.

He says “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.” In other words, do your best to carry forth the gospel truth as Paul and the early community of believers around Paul understood and proclaimed.

Re: “Proper” and “Rightly”: How Conservative Evangelicals Creat

Fair enough Jacob. I don’t want to hijack your thread here, but do appreciate your openness in sharing your ideas. My own understanding of knowledge and truth is summarized here.

I do have some different views on how to read the Bible; but I also think my view is different in that I enjoy the mystery of God and encourage folks not to create “truth” where there is no clear understanding.

I will keep reading along with you Jacob, and maybe we will find the time to chat some more in the future.

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