Saturday, October 27, 2007

Orthopathy affects Orthodoxy

I've just been looking at the relationship between Orthodoxy (good doctrine), and Orthopraxy (good actions), and Orthopathy (good emotions), and thought I'd write down a few comments:

If I have bad emotions, then my doctrine can be affected. I could misinterpret a text because my feelings lead me to see a text meaning something that it doesn't really mean.

For example, if I have very strong feelings about war, then I will be tempted to interpret scripture in a way that supports my views of war.
If I have strong feelings about the social welfare of people in council estates, then I will have a tendency to interpret certain verses in the Bible in a way that supports my emotions.

I think that knowing this can be very helpful to us in exegesis, because we will realise that we are bringing some baggage with us to the text. This means that we can then pray that God will renew our minds, and help us to see his word clearly by the power of His Holy Spirit.

To do this though I think we need to ask ourselves, "What are emotive issues to me? Have I carried out good exegesis on these issues? Have I listened to the other side's interpretation?"

ESV Psalm 119:29 Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!