The pendulum of faulty biblical interpretation
I have been guiding people through the book “According to Plan” by Graeme Goldsworthy. In this book, He explains that there are two common errors when approaching Scripture. The first is Literalistic (not Literal) interpretation. The other is Allegorical interpretation. One of the participants said, “It’s like a pendulum”. She was exactly right.
People who come out of Literalism (like Dispensationalism) with a bad taste in their mouths swing over to the allegorical interpretation of Scripture. Allegory is an approach whereby you set aside the historical background of the Scripture. Literalism approaches the Scripture as if there is no further need for the Holy Spirit to interpret Scripture. The history is self-evident. There is no need to interpret it Christocentrically. Literalists view Revelation without the idea of symbolic language. Instead, they talk about helicopters and Russia and modern Israel, completely forgetting about the context in which it was written.
Both of these approaches are man-centered. Really, they are Adam-centered. The Old Adam remains in control of the interpretation of Scripture, so the mind (and self) remain it’s own god.
Goldsworthy says the path of interpretation that Biblical theologians should maintain is Type – Anti-type, wherein Christ is the fulfillment of both literal prophecy and ‘types and shadow’ of the Old Testament (i.e.s Jesus is the true David; Jesus is the true Moses). Anything that would flatten Scripture to Christ-less Christianity or History-less Christianity is not Christian interpretation … At all.