Watch the video above and talk about it with a group or mentor. Learn more.
So you're reading the Bible. But what if someone disagrees with your interpretation?
- What’s your interpretation? We have to determine where people are coming from when they chalk up a theological point to “just one interpretation over another.”
- Affirm the basic clarity of scripture. God’s word is clear on the important points we need to know about salvation and how to live as Christians (Psalm 19:7-8).
- Turn to trustworthy interpreters. There is a lot of weight to our doctrines when we can show that many great Christian thinkers and interpreters understood the scripture as we do today.
In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity. -Rupertus Meldenius
See Also: Bible Interpretation, Church History
Talk About It
- What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
- What are some things you’ve heard Christians disagree over in the past?
- What do you think are legitimate points of disagreement between Christians, if any?
- Do you think it is a “bad witness” to non-Christians for Christians to be in disagreement on some matters? Why or why not?
- Read Psalm 19:7-8. Do you agree that God’s word is clear on the most substantial matters of Christian faith and life? Why or why not?
- Do you agree that we should bring in history/past theologians and leaders to better understand our own interpretations? Why or why not?
- What would you describe as the “non-negotiable” or “essential” doctrines of the Christian faith? Why do you rank these as more important than other, lesser matters?
- Why is it important for Christians to remain charitable to one another despite disagreements over certain doctrines (Romans 14)?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.