I mentioned Mark Driscoll in my last post. He’s the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, a solid evangelical church in a city with “more dogs than evangelical Christians,” as well as an author and conference speaker. The more I hear from him the more I like him.
Right now I’m listening to a talk he gave at a conference at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, addressing some of his concerns with the emerging/Emergent church. (You can download all the audio from the conference here.) The whole thing has been great, but I was really struck this morning by one of his comments. He’s responding to Rob Bell’s idea that we understand the NT best when we look at it through the lens of rabbinical Judaism.
If rabbis don’t love Jesus, they have a bad hermeneutic… Jesus says [referring to John 5:38-39] that the key to all hermeneutics, all interpretation of Scripture, is connecting everything to his person and work. If you don’t love Jesus, you’re a bad Bible scholar… The Bible is about Jesus. Ultimately it’s all about Jesus. And to say that we cannot understand the Bible unless we look through the lens of people who don’t like, know, worship, adore, or understand him, is to in a sense say that we must close our eyes before we open the Book, so that we can see clearly.
This isn’t just a good response to Rob Bell; it’s a very good statement about how we read the Bible. He also refers to the end of Luke’s Gospel, where Jesus goes back through the OT and explains how everything points to him. Jesus is the point of the whole Bible, and he’s the key to understanding it rightly. If we don’t love Jesus, if we’re not looking to learn more about him and love him more, we’re bad Bible scholars.