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?