You Can’t Help but Read through your Point of View!

"Point of View" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
“Point of View” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward


Some years ago when I was still a Vineyard pastor I attended a Vineyard sponsored workshop on hermeneutics.

Along with 6 other students, there was a theologian whose mission was to persuade us that a deconstructionist approach to scripture was wrong.

We were assigned such texts as VanHoozer’s, Is There Meaning in This Text?

We were taken through all the many theories of hermeneutics as well as many philosophers, including Derrida who developed the Deconstruction school.

The results? I left that weekend a convert to deconstructionism and, although I’ve arrived at a slightly different place, I still highly value that analysis of texts and reality itself.

Oh well! This too contributed to my eventual departure from the ministry and the church.

To be honest, I’m very thankful for that pivotal weekend.

Just yesterday I got a message from someone:

“You sir are a heretic of the highest degree. Glorifying what God has called an abomination. Do you just choose to ignore that part of the Bible? Maybe you prefer to translate it to suit your carnel (sic) man.”

The thing is, he’s reading the Bible through his lens as I am mine.

The trick is simply realizing that we filter everything through our point of view (POV). We must always start there.

(Are you experiencing a major shift in your view of the Bible? There are ways I can help you!)


8 Replies to “You Can’t Help but Read through your Point of View!”

  1. He wrote, “…your carnel (sic) man”???? ROFL!

    All this time I thought it was Caramel Man. Sort of like that song….

    Pour some sugar on me
    Ooh in the name of love
    Pour some sugar on me
    C’mon fire me up
    Pour your sugar on me
    Ooh I can’t get enough
    I’m hot, sticky sweet
    From my head to my feet!

    LOL! Caryn

  2. Interesting, of course we all come to everything with our own presumptions and assumptions which inevitably results in discomfort where there are differences. But if accepting that discomfort of course, our horizons are broadened.

    With Derrida, his deconstruction theory ultimately results in nihilism. And it is a theory that is resistant to being deconstructed. Evidence (if evidence were needed) that no human philosophy, ideology or political movement results in real security.

    The theologian you talk of whose mission was to persuade you that a deconstruction approach to scripture was wrong seems to be coming form the perspective that the only appropriate approach is a hermeneutic of faith. This of course will have been his (or her’s) assumption and presupposition. A fuller approach would be to consider this as well at looking from scripture from a hermeneutic of suspicion of which deconstruction may be one way of doing that before coming to a point of view having considered different approaches.

    In that sense considering deconstruction is useful in order to challenge presuppositions and assumptions. Either these can be affirmed or a different conclusion made by such critical engagement. In either case any theological position becomes stronger.

    If whatever conclusion arrived at is not open to being challenged or does not challenge other theological approaches, then can it be considered to be a valid theology?

  3. Oh by the way – “Oh well” – resonates with me – Fleetwood Mac lyrics

    “I can’t help about the shape I’m in
    I can’t sing I ain’t pretty and my legs are thin
    But don’t ask me what I think of you
    I might not give the answer that you want me to

    Now when I talk to God you know he understands
    He said stick by me and I’ll be your guidin’ hand
    But don’t ask me what I think of you
    I might not give the answer that you want me to”

  4. Sweet – so we have a shared love for FM. And something potentially to have some great conversations about as to whether deconstruction results in nihilism or no in the future.

    Disagreement isn’t always bad but never disagreeing is?

    Hmm I wonder what a Fleetwood Mac / Def Leppard combo would look like as a group ;).

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