Being a country boy, every once in awhile I like to run a stick up in a hole and see what comes crawling out. So with Systematic Theology. I usually can poke some of you out with this one, and y'all ain't been very active for awhile. So here goes.
It is clear to me that God wrote the Bible and that men write systematic theologies. The Bible is a harmonious whole provided to man by God. It is often not the harmonious whole in the preconceived way we think it is. Too many times we study half of what the Bible says about something, form our opinions, and then toss out the other half of what the Bible says about that subject. In effect, we form a systematic grid that we place over the word of God and dispose of whatever doesn't fit that grid. It is too often that we don't realize that it is the word of God that needs to be placed over the grid. If the grid isn't fitting the Word, toss IT.
"We must recognize that God and the Scriptures rule over our theology and not the other way around." -- John Stevenson
Those of you who know me know that I am quite the biblical literalist. When James says the elders were to anoint with oil, I believe the elders were literally anointing with literal oil. When Paul discusses a head covering in I Corithians 11, I believe he really meant what he said.
But it is a problem that we often misinterpret the Bible because we do not recognize that it uses figures of speech. When we try to literalize what is not literal, we run into nonsense.
From this post, I want to launch over the next few days a highlighting of the most common figures of speech in the English language and look at how or whether these are used in our Bible. Come back tomorrow. Similar time, same place.