Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Hermeneutics of Unbelief

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:14-17
            The biggest problem in Christianity is the problem of hermeneutics.  Since the beginning, the way humans interpret the word of God has become the source of grief.  In the Reformed tradition, we recognize that there are two revelations of God.  One is called General Revelation, which we can find

in nature.  And the other is called Special Revelation, which is the Scripture – the word of God and Jesus Christ the Son of God who is also the LOGOS – the Word of God himself.  Now, the naming of revelations is to help distinguish the two, but in no way it is meant to put the two on the equal level.  For sure the Special Revelation is way above the General Revelation.  The Special Revelation is authoritative over the life of humankind, the rule of faith, and over all the truths and knowledge.  It doesn’t mean, however, that the Special Revelation as revealed in Scripture is exhaustive – containing all truths and knowledge.  But it does mean that every single utterance and truth in the Scripture is true, infallible, and inerrant.  The Special Revelation, the Scripture in this case, therefore, is authoritative over the General Revelation (cf. Belgic Confession Art. 7).  The second Special Revelation, who is Jesus Christ the Son of God, is authoritative over everything, comprehends everything, and is certainly infinite in which none escapes him.  At this point, we are not going to discuss about Jesus Christ as God’s ultimate Special Revelation.  But we are going to tackle the problem of hermeneutics as it is related to the Scripture – the 66 books of the Bible, 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament.  The word of God as finally found its written form in the Scripture has been under assault since the Garden of Eden.  And humans’ wild interpretation of God’s word has led to a great grief that affects the whole world.

            It all began in the Garden of Eden.  According to the visual display, all trees looked pleasant and seemed good for food, as described in Genesis 2:9:

And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

In Genesis 2:16-17 God interpreted nature to Adam:

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Perception-wise, every tree looked good.  But there is one tree in particular, according to God’s Special Revelation, that contained a heavy meaning.  Its meaning was not merely to satisfy the eyes and stomach.  Its meaning was loaded with the matter of life and death.  God’s special revelation was authoritative over nature.  On its own nature seemed innocence for Adam, and also Eve.  But God revealed something different over one particular tree.  The true meaning of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was not known to Adam through merely observing the general revelation.  So Adam needed God’s special revelation for him to see beyond mere appearance.  And God provided just what Adam needed, the truth, the true meaning of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, together with the implication of treating it as food.

            Now, the mode of knowledge as attested by the Scripture has always been through faith.  Faith is foundational even in today’s scientific standard.  At least all the students of science too have to have some kind of faith in order to be able to venture in the world of science.  If one complains and says that faith has nothing to do with the world of science today, he/she is ignorant.  The fact that all students of science too have to believe what their teachers (be it their professors, or their supervisors, or their textbooks or scientific rules and systems) say is proof enough of the necessity of faith even in what the world today considers as the hardest mode of knowledge.  With that being said, it is necessary to understand that humankind can never deny the role of faith in knowledge acquisition.  For without faith there can be no knowledge.  Here, faith is to be understood as the true faith.  Faith in the right authority, the reliable source, and the undisputed fountain of truth.  And that right authority, reliable source, and undisputed fountain of truth is none other than God himself.  And this God is not any god(s) in the world.  This God is the One True God of heaven and earth, who reveals himself as the God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, whose name is Yahweh, known in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Without true faith humans may not acquire true knowledge.  False knowledge reigns when false faith is the foundation.  Believing the wrong authority, the unreliable source, and the disputed fountain of truth will only lead humans to obscure knowledge.  Acquiring obscure knowledge may lead one to a disastrous result.  Because every knowledge will lead to a decision.  Every decision will lead to a consequence.  As we all know, we cannot live in this world without some sort of order.  Order has been established long before there is any creation.  God himself is the source of all order.  We are born into this world with the sense of order.  We can’t live in an order-less world.  So every single decision, act, conduct, word, has its own consequence.  The ultimate authority lies with God himself.  He judges whether one thing is right or wrong.  Humans may judge and say A is right, but God’s judgment cannot be appealed.  When God says A is wrong, no human may contend with him, no matter how much and how long and how strong humans say that A is right.  Faith plays a crucial role here.  All humans must do is believing what God says.  If God judges that A is wrong, then humans must also say that A is wrong.  God judges that humans must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then that’s just that.  No appeal.  No contention.  It is final!

            The devil, however, as God’s enemies, always tries to confuse the truth.  His strategy is always to implant doubt.  Unbelief is the main virus that corrupts faith.  So, in his encounter with Eve, the devil, in the form of a serpent, sowed unbelief in the heart of both Eve and Adam.  So he contradicted God’s word.  So he created doubt in their hearts.  Their mind was focused only on the consequence of eating from the forbidden tree.  And the consequence was narrowed to merely of existential consequence, which was death.  And even Adam and Eve did not fully grasp what the meaning of death was.  The devil led Eve and Adam to the path of the hermeneutics of unbelief.  They no longer thought of God as authoritative.  They no longer believed that God was always right and true.  The bottom line was that Eve and Adam lost faith in God.  Their attitude was no longer leaning toward “whatever God says must be right no matter whether we understand or not.”  Their attitude has changed into “what God says must be tested by my experience.”  This led them to “replace” God the judge by humans the judge.  By doing so, they even judged God’s word, his special revelation.  Instead of believing God’s word no matter what, and thus stayed away from eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Eve and Adam entertained their imagination and what they thought as power, as freedom.  The devil contradicted God’s word by saying that they would not die as the consequence of eating from the tree.  The devil implanted even more imagination into their heads, that their eyes would be opened, that they would become like God.  The devil challenged the mind of Eve and Adam, which had lost footing on true faith, to answer the unspoken question: “Did God lie?”  With their footing not on faith, they quickly assumed that God lied to them.  Their mind quickly shifted to believing that they would not die, which was the word of the devil.  So they feared not the idea of eating from the tree.  The greater problem was that they feared not God anymore.  The existential consequence was already eliminated.  Their minds were trapped in the existential phenomenon only.  They did not weigh in all other dimensions.  And so without the existential consequence hampering their way, they proceeded to justify eating from the tree.  God was no longer important in their mind.  What mattered were only their desire and the tree.  No one could tell them what to do anymore.  They were “free.”  So they looked at the tree.  They observed this general revelation.  And Eve made the first move.  She found that the tree looked good and pleasing to the eye.  Genesis 3:6 records:

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

God’s interpretation was ignored.  The true meaning of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as told by God was not believed.  Eve and Adam sought to figure out the meaning on their own.  They judged God’s word as unreliable.  They judged God as a liar.  They disputed God’s command.  Their observation of nature became their source of assessment.  They put value on the tree based on their own limited understanding of how things were.  They tossed the infinite and eternal truth of God away.  And they built their house of knowledge on their finite and temporary knowledge that they were not sure themselves.  For they still had to figure out where the rabbit’s hole would end.  And they factored in the word of the devil into their process of knowledge acquisition.  Two contradictory statements, and they tried to be “neutral” and “scientific” and “objective.”

            This is the hermeneutics of unbelief.  Hermeneutics of unbelief is the faithless reading of God’s word.  Hermeneutics of unbelief is the faithless interpretation of God’s word.  Consequently hermeneutics of unbelief is also the faithless observation and interpretation of nature, which is God’s general revelation.  With God out of the equation, man proceeds to project their own understanding of the world and also the word of God.  Instead of believing the perfect-all knowing-wise God, man uses their severely limited faculty in order to instill meaning into everything.  As the word of God is no longer treated as absolute and authoritative, man seeks to replace it with something else.  The lost of the faith in the absolute authority of God’s word in their process of comprehension creates a massive hole in their processing system.  The hole needs to be filled in.  Man grabs anything they can find that is readily available in order to replace what is lost.  Perception, reason, nature, you name it, framed in philosophy, science, psychology, and the list goes on, become the replacement.  But the replacement can never replace what is lost.  The quality is different.  What is lost is eternal and absolute.  The replacement is finite and relative.  But man has no other choice.  Once the only tool is dumped and once the foundation is ignored, there is no turning back.  The choice Eve and Adam made, consequently, repositioned them into a state where they could not restore themselves.  They had to make do with all the scraps and junks surrounding them in order to even make sense of the world.  The gap was so wide between them and God that they were not able to fix what was broken.  So they were stuck with the hermeneutics of unbelief.  Even in order to make sense of the word of God, they had to use the only tool in their hand, the hermeneutics of unbelief, and piled in extra materials in order to interpret it.  They couldn’t settle on faith anymore, for it has been lost.  True faith was missing.  All they had was unbelief.

            So Adam and Eve passed on the hermeneutics of unbelief to all their descendants.  Man, ever since, could not get out of the pit of doubt.  Always doubting becomes the starting point in everything.  But their framework of believing and knowing cannot be denied.  It is within their constitution.  There is no escaping it.  So man operates within the framework but everything is malfunctioning because the only necessary element to operate the framework properly is lost – the true faith.  The more they observe God’s general revelation the more they don’t understand.  They need more things to construct their confidence.  They need all the finite and relative perceptions to build their knowledge.  But even then, in the end they too cannot have the full confidence that what they think they know would correspond with the reality in absolute sense.  The more they do so the farther away they are from the truth.  But since that’s the only mode they have, they gradually succumb to the fallout and slowly consider that what they perceive to be true.  They have no other way to test its truth.  They have no other way to check its truth.  Especially the things that are metaphysical in nature.  And so they treat every single matter with the hermeneutics of unbelief.  This hermeneutics is also used to treat God’s special revelation.  Unbelief has always been in the forefront of any verification endeavor.

            When God’s ultimate special revelation incarnated into the world, the people also used the hermeneutics of unbelief to “test” his authenticity, authority, and reality.  John 5:30-40 testifies:

30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. 31 If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

All they needed to do was to believe in Jesus.  The Scripture bore witness about him.  John the Baptist was sent by God to bear witness of Jesus.  Jesus himself revealed who he was through the works he did.  Even the Father himself spoke and bore witness about him.  Yet, and this was a big yet, they still did not believe.  At the end of John 8 they were stoning Jesus because they did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, that Jesus was the Son of God, that Jesus was God himself.  John 8:58-59:

58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

They were stuck with the hermeneutics of unbelief.  So they wanted more proof.  Matthew 12:38-42 records this event:

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

Jesus’ authority was also questioned when he was cleansing the temple in John 2:13-22:

13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

The people, the lawyers, the scribes, the Pharisees, they all did not believe the word of God, even though God’s special revelation was plain in their sight.  Faith was not in their heart.  They operated on the basis of the hermeneutics of unbelief.  Even the clear meaning of the Scripture was hidden from them.  All the events in history lined up to point to Jesus of Nazareth.  His virgin birth, his exuberant birth announcement, his significant and threat to Herod, all attested to his extraordinary dignity as God’s Messiah.  All the miraculous signs that followed his presence were undeniable.  The words that came out of his mouth confirmed his divinity.  All the fulfillment of God’s prophecies was no coincidence.  Even his suffering and death on the cross bore testimony of his prominence.  Yet their hearts were dull.  The hermeneutics of unbelief blocked their eyes from seeing the obvious.  Faith was still lost.

            Today too we are face to face with the hermeneutics of unbelief operating in the world.  Even among those who say they are Christians, the hermeneutics of unbelief continue to become their sole mode of interpreting everything.  One of the most heavily doubted accounts in the Bible is the account of Creation.  The hermeneutics of unbelief is taking over the mind of even educated Christians in the 21st century.  Instead of believing that the account of Creation in Genesis 1 and 2 to be historical in nature, these people doubt it.  What was plainly accepted by Jesus and his apostles, and for sure all God’s prophets, as historical, is now considered to be either mere figurative or even myth.  So they render God as a liar, including all his prophets, his apostles, and even Jesus himself, who is the ultimate special revelation of God.  For Jesus speaks of the event in Genesis 1 and 2 as historical.  He takes that Adam and Eve were historical people.  Matthew records this in Matthew 16:3-6:

And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.

But some fancy arguments from scientists that say it is impossible for the world to be created in short span of time have apparently twisted the mind of these people.  The “evidence” is overwhelming they say, and so they try to accommodate the findings in science in order to “make sense” the seemingly discrepancy between God’s special revelation with its faithful interpretation and God’s general revelation with its interpretation through the perception of man.  Instead of subjecting the findings in science into further evaluation and scrutiny, they find it easier to twist the eternal, authoritative, and absolute word of God to “obey” human finite, relative, and temporary perception of general revelation.  The hermeneutics of unbelief is definitely at work here.  The undisputed historical account of creation is ignored, just like Eve and Adam ignored God’s authoritative command not to eat from the tree and God’s absolute interpretation of the true meaning of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  In the same way as the ancestors of man, these people do not believe the word of God.  So they devise a way to “harmonize” the Special Revelation and the interpretation of God’s general revelation.  In order to accomplish their goal, they go through a very cunning strategy.  The first thing to do is to either bring down the level of the Special Revelation down or to elevate the level of the General Revelation up.  The purpose is to put the two in the same level.  Once they are at the same level, then whatever it is they can claim through general revelation is exploited to interpret the special revelation.  Even though one of the most important purposes of God’s special revelation is actually given by God to interpret the things pertaining to our life.  Just as what Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

But this can’t be understood using the hermeneutics of unbelief.  It can only be accepted by faith.  But how can they do so when they do not have faith in their heart in the first place?

            So because they can’t accept God’s special revelation as is, due to their not having faith, they then put God’s special revelation on par with general revelation.  They treat it as just information.  And worse, they even put God’s special revelation on par with the interpretation of general revelation.  Their framework of being, their constitution dictates them to believe in something, but yet they have lost the only tool for it.  So since they cannot escape their constitution, in order to survive they have to fill in the hole with other things.  And they find it in science, or so they think.  And they even attempt to force their always-changing and unstable knowledge into the consistent and stable truth of God.  They now hide behind the word “interpretation.”  They think that by exploiting the word “interpretation” they then have found the kryptonite of the argument from Scripture.  Because for these people, any theological argument from the Scripture is just an interpretation.  And an interpretation is dependent on the interpreter.  And since the interpreter is fallible, they then argue that the interpretation too must be fallible.  In that way the exploitation is complete, for then no theology can be superior to any other knowledge.  Therefore theology can’t be superior to science.  For these people theology is just interpretation of the Scripture and science is just interpretation of nature.  So, according to this assumption, no one may say that he/she is communicating an absolute truth.  An interpretation can’t be absolute.  The problem with this assumption is that they do not even consider God as the interpreter.  The Special Revelation is put in a box by these people to become just a revelation – unable to defend itself or assert meaning.  But little do they know, because of their confinement within the hermeneutics of unbelief, that God interprets.  He interprets nature.  He interprets who he is.  He interprets his works.  He interprets his own teaching.  He interprets his special revelation as well.  Sadly, these people, without faith, can never believe what God speaks.  They can never accept God’s interpretation.

            Now, going back to the account of Creation, these people do not have any leaning toward believing God’s own interpretation of his revelation of creation as described in Genesis 1 and 2.  They already have their own source of belief (or false belief) which is within the limit of their hermeneutics of unbelief.  They resort to science.  For, in their eyes, even the most unreliable evidence is better than believing through faith.  For faith is a luxury that they don’t have.  They have lost it, remember?  So they have to make do with what they have.  So, when some geologists, in their obscure assumptions and theories and evidences, said that the creation account in Genesis can’t be right because the age of earth couldn’t be a few thousand years, these people took it as the truth.  For these obscure assumptions, theories, and evidences work better within their system of unbelief than working on believing the eternal truth of God with the faith that they don’t have.  They do not wish to acknowledge that they do not have faith.  They’d rather proclaim that they do not need faith.  They do not wish to humble themselves and admit that they need God.  They’d rather throw God who is the source of life away and survive their dying life alone.  Then these geologists, still with their obscure assumptions, theories, and evidences, argue that the age of earth is only possible to be understood to be billions of years.  Do you know that even their “dating” methodology is based on obscure assumption?  But this, again for them, is better than believing by faith what God says about how the world came into being.

There is now even an emerging terminology introduced to the theological discussion, the term “co-illumination.”  This term is meant to elevate general revelation to the same level as special revelation.  People who embrace this term argue that God not only gives illumination for understanding his Scripture, but he also gives illumination for understanding nature, as if God’s word in Scripture is not enough and in need of help from extra biblical materials.  With that explanation then they conclude that science as the vehicle for interpreting nature is being given this illumination, and therefore it has the same dignity, honor, and authority as theology.  To support this they also say that general revelation also has the same authority as the special revelation for they both are modes of God revealing himself to the world.  The fact of the matter is there is no co-illumination in that sense. The Scripture is enough for the matter of faith and life as God’s imago dei.  Even more so that the special revelation of God is far above general revelation.  General revelation doesn’t have authority.  It is a means of communication-of proclamation (cf. Psalm 19:1), it is a canvas of God, which bears his signature in every corner, and thus no being on earth can deny his existence (cf. Romans 1:18-20).  On the other hand, God’s special revelation is authoritative, for God gives clear directive through it.  God’s special revelation guides us to understand the meaning of life, including the meaning of general revelation even though not exhaustive.

            Then came along Charles Darwin with his evolution theory.  And Thomas Henry Huxley advocated evolution and defended it with his life.  For evolutionists, all the evidences for the reality of evolution are too overwhelming, so they can’t help themselves but believe that the world did not happen the way the Scripture witnesses, and instead they can’t help themselves but believe that the world could only happen by way of evolution.  Humans too they say can only emerge through billions of years of evolutionary process starting from Big Bang, then the formation of the solar system, then the formation of earth, then the emergence of a single cell organism, then the evolution of that single cell into complex cells, then into humans eventually.  So, because they can’t help but believing this theory of evolution, they must then judge the Scripture account of creation in Genesis 1 and 2 to be mere legend or myth or just a folk story that has no credence on factual reality.  Theologians who never actually believe in God in the first place then pick up this evolution theory and spin it within the realm of theology and turn the Scripture – the Special Revelation of God – upside down.  Instead of accepting God’s interpretation of how the world came into being, they’d rather believe in obscure theory of evolution based on the relative observation of nature (that is already fallen even) using their finite and polluted faculty and thus construct a harmony of evolution and creation and judge God’s word in Genesis 1 and 2 as non historical and therefore silently proclaiming that God is lying when he reveals that he created the world by fiat.  Does any of this ring a bell to you?  Isn’t it exactly what Eve and Adam did when they were confronted with the challenge to whether preserving their faith in God or abandoning it based on contradictory statement of the devil and the observation of nature through their limited perception of reality?  Now, who says that Eve and Adam were being neutral?  Who says that science is neutral?  There is no neutral ground.  Either one is for God or against him.  No one can harmonize truth and falsehood.  But this is precisely what many theologians are doing today.  The doctrine of creation becomes the object and platform of contention in order to bring Christianity down.  This is what a theologian by the name of Mark Shand said:

If the Christian is obliged to harmonize Scripture with the claims of so-called science, then he ought also harmonize all of the miracles of the Scripture with the demands of science. The result is that all of the miracles will be rejected as being scientifically unsustainable. However, the reason that they are scientifically unsustainable is that they are what they claim to be, miracles, and without the eyes of faith they appear ridiculous in the sight of men.
To pander to the demands of those who seek to harmonize Scripture with so-called science has resulted and will continue to result in the destruction of the Christian faith. Where is our faith, if there was no incarnation or if Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead?  If those truths are rejected, then the modern day Huxleys can say with justification that orthodox Christianity has been forced to retire from the lists, not just bleeding and crushed, but totally annihilated. This is ultimately what is at stake when the literal interpretation of the "days" of Genesis 1&2 is abandoned.[1]

Genesis 1 and 2 assault does not only impact the interpretation of the doctrine of Creation, but it is more fatally affect the entire system of faith of our Christian belief.  This is so simply because science cannot accommodate miracles or anything that happen outside the limit of the scientific law in the physical universe.  So to force the harmonization of the Scripture and science, with the tendency to favor science as we know it today, would mean to infuse a foreign meaning to the Scriptural miracles including the miraculous resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The scary thing is that the hermeneutics of unbelief is now being taught in every sector of education.  Children of man are now growing up with the hermeneutics of unbelief in their blood.  And consequently, in their mind, for God to be God he must prove himself first.  For people who do not have faith, such is the only way.

            But for people who have faith, such is not the way.  The way of faith is the way of believing in God.  Believing in his special revelation.  Just like what Augustine and Anselm remarked “Faith seeks Understanding” thus is the mode of our framework.  And faith is given from above.  No one may recover faith themselves.  The original sin depraves everyone, except Jesus Christ.  So faith is God’s grace to his people.  Then through the eyes of faith we may see what the unbelievers can never see.  John 6:44 says: “44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”  The unbelievers are blind, for even after Jesus had performed an undeniable miracle – the feeding of the five thousand, 30 … they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? (John 6:30).  Amazing isn’t it?  This is what Jesus says: “36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.” (John 6:36).  They operated within the hermeneutics of unbelief.  But we do not walk in their path.  Our hermeneutics is the hermeneutics of faith.  So we read the Scripture in faith.  So we interpret the Scripture believing what God says.  His special revelation is far superior above the general revelation and all other modes of knowledge.  For God himself interprets the world, his will, his works, and his own words, through his special revelation.  And we believe that “All Scripture is breathed out by God.”  We do not doubt as the unbelievers do.  We do not attempt to compromise the scripture to obey the findings in science.  But we “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).  Through faith we submit to the Lordship of Christ.  We have no use of the hermeneutics of unbelief.
-The Business of Christian Education CI-

[1] Mark L. Shand.  In the Space of Six Days (3), in Protestant Reformed Theological Journal Vol. XXXVII, November 2003, (Grandville, MI: Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary), pp. 30-31.

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