Hitherto in this set of posts I have called our attention to several issues tied together with the word “disingenuous.” To be disingenuous is to lack candor or sincerity. To be less than forthcoming. I have applied this term to those who, for whatever reason, will not clearly tell people exactly what it is they are doing with Scripture passages; for example, whether they are interpreting a passage allegorically or typologically or symbolically. These are all forms of spiritualizing the text. We saw also how the imagination can be engaged to concoct a scenario which then becomes the basis for proceeding along a theological line without due recourse to problematical prophetic texts. I tried to demonstrate how these scenarios often fail to reflect what the interpreter is really doing with the Bible.
Another thing I did was to cast suspicion upon the recent expedient of claiming that supercessionist reinterpretations of OT promises, which they say comes from reading the NT, may legitimately be called “expansions” of those OT promises. In truth, what is happening is not expansion but transformation and mutation of these texts into something other than what they mean when taken in context at face value.
Most seriously, I called attention to the real dilemma that such hermeneutical abandon, if sanctioned by God, would cause the honest theologian to conclude that equivocation would have to be raised to the rank of an attribute of God, with all the ensuing philosophical fallout which that would bring with it. I understand that even raising this problem would be bound to annoy those believers who have a God who enters into oaths which, as their view of the NT permits Him to do, He never intended to carry out in the way He covenanted to do. But you can’t have your symbolic cake and eat it. If you posit such a deity all the pious rhetorical flourishes in the world will not alter the fact that he prevaricates when swearing oaths. I proved this with several examples in the three posts about “A Disingenuous God?”
The next post was not intended to be part of the series, but I suppose it ought to be included since it addresses itself to the supercessionist claim that the NT is necessary to rightly interpret the Old.
That brings me to this final article in the series. This one asks what God Himself thinks of those who make a covenant and fail to fulfill it to the letter. Surely God does not hold His creatures to a higher standard of fidelity in these matters than He holds Himself to? Let’s see. (more…)