7 Dangers of Fanciful Interpretations – part 2

Continuing yesterday’s list of 7 dangers of fanciful interpretations:

4. Fanciful interpretation may lead to preacher puffery. If you get lots of empty praise, which you probably will if you preach the equivalent of donuts and cupcakes, there is a very real danger that you may believe the hype and get puffed up.  You may get far less feedback from people who are deeply convicted, or who need time to be with the Lord because of what they’ve heard from His Word.  So actually the fanciful approach is a short-cut to puffery (unless you learn to discern the value of feedback and praise!)

5. Fanciful interpretation may lead to unnecessary division between believers. On the one hand there are those who will be deeply troubled by what they hear from you.  On the other hand there will be noise from the less discerning who get very hyped up by your sugary fare.  Chances are that these two groups will have some difficult conversations when the latter look to the former to celebrate the teaching they’ve enjoyed so much!

6. Fanciful interpretation may put off thinking unbelievers. Some people do think and may sit there looking at a Bible as you talk.  What if they evaluate Christianity and decide that we’re all apparently unthinking or fanciful in what we believe? Some people are able to see through the lack of intellectual credibility of some Christian communicators.  Then we all get tarred with the same brush.  More importantly, Christ is rejected based on the false assumption that the Christian faith is intellectually deficient or inconsistent.

7. Fanciful interpretation disappoints God. It doesn’t honour God to treat His Word as if what He inspired isn’t good enough, or interesting enough, or relevant enough.

And other dangers?

3 thoughts on “7 Dangers of Fanciful Interpretations – part 2

  1. This is very helpful.

    Another big problem with fanciful interpretations, is that sooner or later you ask why no one else has come up with this interpretation before in church history (or in other denominations), which if you are not careful can lead to proudly assuming that you are more Spirit-filled than anyone before you, or a more scholarly thinker than anyone else. Basically, it leads to pride, an air of superiority, and a disregard for church history.

  2. I understand this post, but I also do believe that part of the way the sermon needs to be preached is to the audience that is there. When Jesus preached he preached to what the people knew. I am a White guy that happens to preach at a mostly African American church. The cultures are different but the same message of Christ needs to be delivered. I understand that some things are used to get people standing up and I don’t agree with that.

    Different cultures are raised on different things from movies to books and what that does is it creates a different way we hear and retain knowledge. Neither way is right or wrong just different. If the sermon is not relatible in some way then nobody will listen.

    I will say that I have heard alot of boring sermons that make me feel like I would rather be in the 3-4 year old Childrens Sundy School class. The gospel Message is so awesome and I believe that part of Preaching the message is presenting it in a way that the people will see just how awesome of a message it truly is.

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