Preaching Backwards

Preaching Backwards

Just some thoughts on biblical teaching.

My WebLog doesn’t show yet that I’m a Christian so, well, there it is! 🙂

I’m a 4-year old Christian who loves God, and, as a thinker, I love to use my mind in my worship; and so, I’m often thinking about my faith and drawing (possibly wrong and possibly judgemental) conclusions about it.

Today I’ve been reading a book and listening to a tape both of which, I think, preach backwards.

Some people have a tendancy to approach biblical teaching starting with what they think and working back to what the Bible says. My flatmate Mark rightly comments that:

“You can make the Bible say pretty much what you want”.

A statement that I would refine to:

“You can select parts of the Bible and interpret those parts in such a way that you can make them pretty much whatever you want”.

(This is a slight tangent but I believe that God’s word as a whole and interpreted correctly is not inconsistent – though I’m still working on that)

The things I’ve been reading and hearing seem to take this approach. On the tape I was listening to a woman was explaining a Biblical view of Gender differences. I confess to being immediately sceptical of a woman talking about gender difference. I’d be equally sceptical of a man talking about the same topic though so you can’t really win.

This woman, in my view, had an agenda that she wanted to tackle. In fact, she started her talk with a “hypothesis”. So much for coming to the God’s word with an open mind! She then proceeded to perform a very academic analysis of this hypothesis before turning to the Bible to see what it said. But she could only ever teach from a limited part of the Bible and she chose to focus on things which supported what she was talking about.

The book was even worse, making huge statements (most of which I did agree with by the way) and then backing them up with a single verse (or less) of scripture.


I think that the Bible is quite clearly split up to cover various different topics. Genesis is about creation, the fall, and the history of Israel. Sure, some of what it says applies to gender differences but surely we should turn to a book of the bible that’s specifically talking about that topic for God’s advice on it?

Biblical inconsistency seems to happen when people take things out of context…I’m guilty of it myself. We need to recognise this and make sure that we use God’s word to mould our view of the world, not to support our own hypothesis about the world.

Lord, help us all to be rooted in your word and to think about what people preach. Help us to back-up what people tell us with what you tell us. Help us not to be naive about what people preach us, but, respectfully, to think for ourselves too.