Exegetes at Church

I greatly appreciated these thoughts from Tim Gombis.
“there’s a world of difference between a critical mind and a critical spirit. A critical mind is essential for the classroom and important for life. A critical spirit, however, is soul-corrupting and community-destroying. Hopefully, as I mature, I’m cultivating the first while avoiding the second.”

Faith Improvised

A few recent conversations have sparked some thoughts about going to church as a critically-engaged exegete.

Biblical exegesis is all about critical analysis of the details of a text and critical scrutiny of other exegetes’ work.  Several times after intense and involved class discussions, someone has commented that it must be tough to go to church.  If you’re analyzing the nitty-gritty of a text so closely, emphasizing each feature as crucial, how do you put up with sloppy preaching?

Good question.

Here are a few scattered thoughts, in no particular order.

First, there’s a world of difference between a critical mind and a critical spirit.  A critical mind is essential for the classroom and important for life.  A critical spirit, however, is soul-corrupting and community-destroying.  Hopefully, as I mature, I’m cultivating the first while avoiding the second.

Second, I don’t expect a classroom experience in church or an academic paper…

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