writing things down…

Yeah, but…

Something I thought about this weekend:

One’s personal hermeneutic is the philosophy by which one utters “Yeah, but…” when reading/interpreting scripture.

Where do you place your “Yeah, buts”?



  B-W wrote @

Are we talking about, for example, “Yeah, Paul says ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man,’ but he didn’t intend for this to be a prohibition against all women teaching everywhere. Rather, he was speaking to a specific situation,” or have I misunderstood the question?

  Chris wrote @

B-W, you have understood the question quite well. I am not basing anything substantive on this passing thought, but as I think about how to explain hermeneutics to those who are not familiar with the term, it seems that the idea of “Yeah, but…” makes some sense.

  B-W wrote @

I’m inclined to agree, and (if I were so inclined) could probably come up with a bunch of others. In fact, one could just as easily give a few examples on how conservatives say “Yeah, Paul spoke highly of women in ministerial roles, but none of them were church officers” or some such, just to show that “Yeah, but” is not merely an excuse liberals use to get away with not obeying Scripture.

  Will wrote @

If so, then dogmatism is perhaps just the “Yeah”, without any trace of the “but…”


  Chris wrote @

Will, maybe. Dogmatism could also be, “Yeah, I know that the Scriptures do not speak directly to this subject, but this is the way we do it!” I think your description is more akin to biblicism than dogmatism. What do you think?

  Will wrote @

Yeah, I agree, Chris…



  Pat McCullough wrote @

Hurrah for biblicists, gotta love the simplicity of just saying yes to everything. Perhaps the Anabaptist version would be: “Yeah, but Jesus says…” My problem is I say “yeah, but” to something, then I say “yeah, but” to that, then “yeah, but” again, and so on. Maybe we can call it a hermeneutical seesaw.

  Chris wrote @

Thanks Pat and Will for taking an interest in this subject. I realize it is a can of worms.

Pat, you bring up something that has been a bit of an itch since I became a full-fledged memebr of an Anabaptist community (my anabaptist proclivities have always been around)… Oh, you know what, this response deserves a post all its own. Check back later.

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