Experiential Exegesis

EisegesisExegesis is when a person interprets scripture from what is in the text. Eisegesis is when a person interprets and reads information into the text that is not there. Exegesis is what we are supposed to do and Eisegesis is what we are to avoid. What I have noticed is that preachers often interpret scriptures based on their experiences. People often receive this eisegesis because they have had the same experiences.

It seems that there is a tendency to justify our decisions and lifestyles, good or bad, from the Word of God. Instead of admitting our sin and our moral failures, we manufacture, in scripture, that which would give approval to our conduct.

One of two things must happen for this to come about. The first is that we must reduce the fact that we are as bad as the Bible says we are. In other words, we must deny our total depravity. We must deny our failures and faults. The second is that we must reduce the demands of God. We must deny that God requires absolute obedience, righteousness, and holiness. Instead of God’s will being accomplished despite our sin and failures it sounds as if God’s will is done because of our sin and our failures.

It is too easy to justify our moral failures and unbiblical decisions as God enlarging our territories instead of it being God’s grace and goodness in spite of our sinfulness. They are not the same. It would be hard for us to say that when Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden and refused re-entry it was really God simply enlarging their territories. The consequences, results, and God’s gracious response are not the same as God’s giving His approval to our unrighteousness. God working all things out for good does not mean that what we did was good. We cannot remove the responsibility.

What is often said is that God can do what God wants to do. That is true! One time, he spoke through a donkey but that is not His normal avenue of communication. God overcoming our sinfulness is not God celebrating our sin. God making good come out of a sinful situation does not mean that God approved and orchestrated the sin. We must be careful that we are not making God the author of sin.

The Bible does not justify my sin, it convicts and condemns my sin. He is gracious and He is good as He makes the good result even in our sinfulness. Our sin is still a sin even when God makes good come from it.

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