Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Question

Which is Godlier/healthier/better?

A person who reads and misinterprets a passage of Scripture, but whose actions become more Christ-like afterwards?

Or a person who reads and comprehends a passage of Scripture, but whose actions remain unchanged?

Leave your answer in the comments, I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Um...I feel I cannot answer this question because these are incomplete scenarios. Off the top of my head I wonder, does the latter person NEED to change? I know we all need to become more Christ-like always, but maybe he's already striving to be a Godly man.
    Also I think this depends on the context of the community. In our culture we have too many Christians who disregard scripture but still strive to be Christ-like. But if someone did this in the context of the noble Nicean church it would have less impact because they would still have the support of a church community that had a strong biblical base.
    As for who I would personally rather be, I would choose the first kind of person, though since so many around me choose to be that way I really don't like it.

  2. Brian, i suppose the question behind the question is, is right interpretation or right living more important? Perhaps this is a question of orthodoxy versus orthopraxy. I know that, deep down, they go hand in hand.

    As for your question about the latter person needing to change, I'm assuming what you already stated--we all need to strive towards Christlikeness, so to have one's life utterly unaffected by Scripture because one believes that he doesn't need to change in a particular area smells of self-righteousness to me.

    Thanks for engaging with the question, it's a random thought that entered my brain a few days ago and I've been wrestling with its implications.

  3. I would have to argue that the first would be "Godlier" in that the intentions were sincere and the persons actions became more Christlike. The latter I would consider to be less healthy but both can be dangerous particularly to other Christians who are looking to this person for leadership.

  4. Aaron, great insights, especially about looking to either type of person for spiritual guidance.

  5. The power of the word is that it does something to the reader/hearer. Reading/hearing the word ought to change us somehow and we trust that as the Holy Spirit works faith in those who hear the gospel then it will be a change for the better.

    I'd say that in a perfect world we wouldn't have to question the meaning and interpretation of scripture but the fact is that we come up with various interpretations. Maybe there can be different meanings for different people at different times and in different situations. I think we have to trust that the word will accomplish good in the end and change us into the people God wants us to be.