- Pathfinder

Reply To: In Lecture 2, Dr. Dru Johnson mentions that there has been a decline in biblical literacy in the Church. After taking this course, what are some recommendations you would give to church leadership to increase biblical literacy?

James Haire

I have always had an extreme distaste for false teaching portraying biblical truth in a false or manufactured light. I would certainly agree with the assertion that biblical literacy is down. Even among the most popular clergy in our society today they are so far away from the truth it’s repulsive. Something I have never encountered before among Christians is reviving the old testament and trying to read it the way the ancient Hebrews would have seen it. Its most definitely refreshing because I have always felt alone in my thoughts on this. So many people are teaching yet don’t have a clue about what they speak of. Taking into account the Hebrew language and how the Hebrew mind would disseminate the information we see is how it was meant to be understood. When you translate and ancient language into a modern one from another continent it is inevitable you are going to lose some meaning. But that coupled with deceptive or ignorant clergy is a recipe for disaster. We often want to put the biblical Characters into our time and society and then read it that way and that is inaccurate. Trying to place yourself in the ancient world and using the thought process of the ancient Hebrews is certainly the right way of pursing an authentic understanding of what God is actually trying to say to us. One part in particular that was so refreshing was the part in the podcast where you discussed wrestling with a question or criticizing the text in pursuit of truth without neglecting faith in it. I have been reading the old testament since I was about 7 or 8 and I have wrestled with certain things my whole life. When I question pastors or clergy they can’t answer them and didn’t even consider asking those same questions and I would get all types of slanderous accusations. Because they are unable to think critically I am troublesome or divisive. But If it doesn’t feel right with what I know of God and the way I am reading it is not giving me and authentic understanding I must be missing something. They have generally discarded me because they are uninterested in the authentic meaning. Wrestling with scripture is a healthy thing I believe when it is done in pursuit of truth and not simply intentionally trying to fault it as Atheist do. I can remember being young and in solitary confinement in Jail, and I would be alone reading some passages for weeks and could not grasp them at the time and I would get pissed off and throw the bible at the wall and argue with God that he doesn’t make any sense. But I kept picking it back up. Eventually as I grew in my understanding the answers I couldn’t find anywhere would come. These cartoon Christians that preach pacifism and neglect the old testament are the greatest stumbling block to an authentic understanding in my personal opinion. They hold no principles sacred, they never dig deeper. They are unconcerned with an authentic understanding just scratching the surface and developing their entire theology out of one out of context verse has done enormous damage. Then they go on to shout down anyone who wishes to make sense of the hard things. I disagree with them greatly, You should wrestle with hard theological concepts. That’s part of seeking the Lord with all your heart mind and soul. I greatly appreciate the effort here in this course with men trying to put aside their current era and their culture and language and pursue the truth and how it was delivered to man. Not using it deceptively for personal ambitions which is what I constantly see in modern clergy everywhere.

One Message I would give pastors, stop being so soft and weak. Start being men, and take all variables into account when delivering a message and describe what real world application looks like. Have a heart for the truth and authenticity not an appearance of holiness. The original languages should always be consulted. Not only should we understanding the Hebrew & Greek but we should understand the cultures that they were written in and their methods of speaking. We will disassemble, reassemble and picking apart the minutest detail scientific data to come to reality the same or even more so should be done with the very words spoken by the voice that spoke our minds into existence.