Monday, November 9, 2009

Joe Hockey and the interpretation of Scripture

It's not often you get politicians commenting on Biblical hermeneutics, the art of interpreting scripture. The Hon. Joe Hockey, the shadow treasurer, while making general cultural comments, said this (according to the Age) about the way "evangelical" Christians interpret the Bible:

"number of fast-growing evangelical Christian churches in Australia take a literalist approach to the scriptures. While most leaders of the older churches … have moved away from such a position … there is still an alienating literalism that pervades many faiths … One of the reasons why Christian faith has declined in the Western world is because of the reliance placed on a literal reading of the testaments by church leaders.''

While I disagree with his reason for the decline in attendance, he's described in general terms how I interpret the Bible and how orthodox Christianity has and currently interprets the Bible. As it is, according to context. In fact this is how we interpret almost anything, on face value according to context. It's hard to do so with a tiny scrap of paper from the footpath but it gets easier with say blog posts.

(Murray has also commented on this news.)