Looking for themes in scripture
As much as I enjoy haggling over the best interpretation of a particular passage of scripture I think we get away from what God would want to communicate to us through the scriptures. Over the last few years I’ve been looking at the strongest general themes. What did the people value? What was their main concern? What points are reiterated time and again? What was important to several biblical authors?
For example I did a study on the “one anothers” in scripture. I was looking to see if the New Testament talks more about leaders ministering to others or peer ministry. From what I could tell ministry from one to another is a stronger theme than leader ministry. As I compare this to church I see the opposite is true.
It is far too easy to find support for what we do in scripture. There is a lot in scripture written about leaders and to leaders in scripture. One could look at these passages and find a lot of support for leadership driven ministry. The problem comes when we look only for passages that support our position and neglect to reconcile our position with the passages that would round out the picture.
Sometimes the errors we make are more in the strength of our emphasis rather than the legitimacy of specific practice or belief.