Knowable Word Banner Jim Elliff makes an important point.  Writes Peter Krol of Knowable Word. To read Scripture rightly, we must be willing to allow each author, in each text, to make the point he wants to make. We must not be quick to harmonize its teaching with the rest of the Bible, lest we dilute or overturn the point at hand.

Elliff writes:

For instance, a man may read that he is to exert diligence in pursuing truths from God, but, on the other side his mind flies to passages that say God alone grants that understanding and unless God opens the heart, he is helpless to obtain any benefit from his diligence. So, the mind patches together a way both things are really one thing. But now you’ve ripped something away that the author intended to emphasize. He makes one point, but he purposely did not make the other point. He wasn’t writing a systematic theology, but was driving a truth home.

In some odd cases, the meaning of the first statement is turned on its head and all the potency is excised from the text by our propensity to blend all seemingly contrary thoughts together. As we read, we say, “Christ does not really mean we are to give up our possessions because in this place He says that some believers are wealthy.” So as we read we are denying the statement before we let it say anything to us. And, without intending to do so, we are telling ourselves and perhaps others that it would have been better if Jesus would have said something much more benign.

This does not mean that harmonizing, or creating a systematic theology is wrong; on the contrary, it is critical that we do this! But not at the expense of what the Holy Spirit aims to teach in a particular passage.

For further explanation from Elliff, check it out!

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