Learning and Living the God-centered life

One Biblical Doctrine at a time…

Narcissistic Eisegesis

The Seeker-Friendly movement within Evangelicalism has led to a basic problem when it comes to the subject of Bible interpretation.
Here is a basic look at Bible interpretation over the 2000 years of church history. Even though this has been oversimplified I think it can help us understand what is happening today.

1. Orthodox - believes that the Bible is the word of God.
2. Liberal - believes that the Bible contains the word of God.
3. Neo-Orthodox - believes that the Bible becomes the word of God. (Seeker-Friendly, Emerging and Emergent)

The result of this Neo-Orthodox style of interpretation leads to Narcissistic Eisegesis:

Narcissistic Eisegesis ("Narcigesis") = Forcing the Bible to mean something you already want it to mean by superimposing yourself into the meaning of the passage, rather than interpreting Scripture for what it means about God, and letting the Scripture simply speak for itself. The key pointers are sermons where the pronouns I, me and my are prominent. In other words you hear mostly horizontal man centered messages instead of vertical God-centered messages.

Conversely, seeking to understand Scripture for what it reveals about God is known as Exegesis, and is also sometimes referred to as the "Literal" or "Grammatical-Historical" approach to interpreting Scripture. Example: The Narcissitic Eisegesis version of David and Goliath would be about you fighting your personal "giants" (i.e., problems, difficulties, setbacks, etc.). The Orthodox approach to interpreting David and Goliath would reveal, instead, an historical account of David's faith and God supernaturally intervening in an impossible situation for his own glory.