Sunday, 21 August 2016
It is true that a congregational leader is not made by academic training. He must have a call from God that is recognized in the Body. However, superior training for the one so called can produce greater quality, a person with a deeper understanding of the complexity of life and biblical issues. Such a person should be one of deep convictions without dogmatic narrow-mindedness. Liberal Arts training from a biblical point of view as well as graduate level theological training can be very helpful in producing a person who can relate to others from all walks of life.
The interpretation of difficult biblical passages, for example, is aided by an understanding of the meaning of the language of the passage(s) in their cultural-semantic context of meaning usage. Archeological and linguistic studies are helpful. Further help is available in seeing how others have perceived the passage throughout history. This will lead to a prayerful conclusion that has a degree of objectivity.
If we are to test the Spirit by the Word, objective means of interpretation are crucial. Such information is required by our very biblical translators in their work, so we eschew such study to our detriment ...
A knowledge of Jewish and Christian history provides us with a knowledge of the gains and mistakes of the past, even vividly illustrating the terrible results of destructive paths of interpretation and action. God has worked in the history of His people, and he who will not learn from history is bound to repeat its errors.
Jewish Roots, Chapter Seven: Messianic Jewish Practice