John MacArthur has a good clip from one of his sermons dealing with bad hermeneutics (view source). I needed this reminder because it is so easy to fall prey to laziness and try to preach my mind, not God’s. What’s worse is that both myself and others can claim to have deep spiritual insight talking in platitudes but miss the point of the text. MacArthur’s three key mistakes to avoid are:
- Making points at the expense of proper interpretation.
- Spiritualizing the text.
- Superficial study.
Each of these (at least from my perspective) is unfortunately the common practice within fundamentalist circles. For example, it is proper and necessary to proclaim God’s holiness and total set apart-ness from sin but it is another things to take the pet peeve of a pastor and make that the thing that God’s hates. It would seem that we would de-emphasize the seriousness of sin by claiming things as sinful which scripture does not.