Redneck Biblical Hermeneutics

As some people have probably thought I have dropped off the face of the planet, I thought I would signal my return to the blogosphere with a bit of humor.

A redneck from one of the southern states desired to enter the ministry. He went to a minister to be examined and the following conversation took place: “Can you read, Sam?” “Naw, I can’t read.” “Can you write?” Well, naw, I cain’t write.” “Well, do you know your Bible, Sam?” “Oh yeah, I know me Bible right well.” “Tell me, what part of the Bible do you prefer?” “Well, I prefers the New Testament.” “And what do you like in the New Testament, Sam?” “The book of Mark.” “And what do you like especially about Mark?” “I likes the parables the best.” “And which of the parables is your favorite?” “Well, I likes the parable of the Good Samaritan the best.” “Well, Sam, will you tell me the story of the Good Samaritan?”

“Sure I will. Once upon a time a man was goin’ from Jerusalem to Jericho and he fell among the thorns. The thorns grew up and choked him, an’ he went on and didn’t have no moolah. An’ he went to the Queen of Sheba, and she gave him one thousand talents of money and a hundred changes of raiment. An’ then he got in a chariot and druv furiously. An’ when he was driving under a big ol’ juniper tree, his hair done got caught in the limb of the tree, and he hung there, an’ hung many days an’ the ravens brought him food to eat an’ water to drink, and afterward he was an hungred, an’ he ate five thousan’ loaves and two small fishes. An’ one night while he was ahangin’ there, asleep, his wife Delilah came along an’ cut off his hair an’ he dropped an’ fell on stony ground. But he got up an’ went on, an’ it began to rain an’ it rained forty days and forty nights an’ he hid himself in a cave, an’ lived on locusts an’ wild honey. Then he went on till he met a servant who said, ‘Come take supper at my house,’ an’ he began to make excuses an’ said, ‘No, I won’t, I married a wife and I cain’t go.’ An’ the servant went out in the highway and in the hedges an’ compel him to come in. An’ after supper he went on an’ came to Jericho an’ when he got there he looked and saw Queen Jezebel sittin’ a way up in a high window, an’ she laffed at him, an’ he said, ‘throw her down,’ an’ they threw her down, an’ he said, ‘Throw her down some more,’ and so they threw her down seventy times seven. An’ of the fragments they picked up twelve baskets full, and then they say, ‘Now in the razzerection who alls wife is she goin’ to be?'”

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Pastoral Advice on Eastern Orthodoxy

Posted by David Gadbois

With the recent news that Hank Hanegraaff has been received as a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, it might be helpful to post the report on Eastern Orthodoxy that Classis Southwest of the URCNA adopted as pastoral advice at the recent classis meeting.  The reader can download it here.  It deals with some of the major issues that have attracted former members of our churches to depart for Eastern Orthodoxy, and provides guidance for ministering to those considering Eastern Orthodoxy.  It includes a lengthy appendix by Dr. Robert Godfrey on the Roman Catholic Church, due to the fact that the essay contains material that overlaps with many of the major issues relating to Eastern Orthodoxy.

To briefly comment on Hanegraaff, from what I have read he was raised in the Christian Reformed Church as the son of a minister, but for some reason as an adult he drifted into broad evangelicalism as an amillenial, baptistic Arminian.  He never received seminary training, and was ordained by Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel.  Until he makes an explicit statement on the matter, it is difficult to speculate on what drew him to Eastern Orthodoxy.  I will say that it is unfortunate that he did not resign from the Christian Research Institute, or was not forced out, when he became an EO catechumen.

The temptations that Eastern Orthodoxy offers to evangelicals are surely stronger than the temptations that can be offered to Reformed believers attending solid confessional churches.  Nonetheless many of the temptations are the same; temptations such as the aesthetic appeal and what Dr. Scott Clark has termed the Illegitimate Quest for Certainty.  We shouldn’t be too proud, because recent history has shown that Reformed churches aren’t immune to having members who are seduced by such errors leave the faith.

I have heard reports that Reformed seminaries, even seminaries we would consider strongly confessional and of high educational standard, are not properly preparing ministers to deal with the modern apologetic claims of both Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.  I’d be curious if that is the experience of others in the Green Baggins readership.  Perhaps that problem can be fingered as one of the root causes behind many of the recent apostasies to Rome and EO.

A Friendly Introduction to Biblical Literacy

Posted by Paige (Yes, I’m still around here sometimes!)

I’m pleased to be able to share with you a quirky biblical literacy resource that I created this year. Originally commissioned for a women’s Bible study conference last fall, this half-hour talk instructs beginning Bible students in the difference between “doing devotions” and studying a passage, using Isaiah 61 to reinforce my main points.

It’s meant to be a primer, so the content won’t interest most readers of this blog. But if you listen for just a few minutes, you’ll likely think of a few people who would benefit from this kind of friendly instruction. (Of course, if you listen to the whole thing I will be flattered!)

This talk is on YouTube not because it’s a video of me speaking, but because I created slides to accompany it, for the sake of visual learners. The talk can be enjoyed profitably just as an audio recording, too. Please pass this link along, as appropriate. Thanks!