Sunday, July 05, 2009

Dave Bish on the Song of Solomon

Dave has written an excellent post recently that thanks to Twitter I noticed. He interacts with Tom Gledhill, author of the BST Song of Songs and the article on it in the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology and Gledhill's views on this beautiful book. Gledhill follows (or maybe is to blame) for Mahaney, Driscoll et all and states;

"... there is some biblical justification for a moderate typological approach. But the danger of this hermeneutic is that of thinking that the relationship between the believer and God is highly emotional or even erotic".

He then goes on to state that it is "safer" to "the straightfoward and explicit admonitions of the NT". Dave responds;

"So Gledhill says a moderate typology is fine, but we're to abandon it because:

a) we might take it too far, but can we not restrain ourselves? And what if we permit ourselves to ask whether a less cautious hermeneutic might be fruitful? I'm not saying be wreckless, but let's not run scared. Sounds like an argument for abstinence from alcohol for risk of drunkeness...

b) the NT gives us 'straightfoward' words but Matthew Henry suggests: "when the meaning is found out, it will be of admirable use to excite pious and devout affections in us; and the same truths which are plainly laid down in other scriptures when they are extracted out of this come to the soul with a more pleasing power" Can we not have poetic theology?

c) it's prone to excessive allegoratization, but it's ok for Mark Driscoll to follow Gledhill's lead and interpret the foxes as sexual temptation? Excesses all round I guess, but might we miss some of the riches if we pass over details?I appreciate there are dangers, but I think Gledhill over reacts. Given he concedes there is some basis for this typological approach it seems a shame to throw away the opportunity for this book to testify about Christ and the church for fear of getting carried away with it. I accept it's possible to over-read the text, but perhaps we're more likely to under-read it...".

I don't think I need add anything to this outstanding rebuttal. Once again the danger of no use because of overuse - when rather we should be holding to right use. Fantastically written and I urge you to follow Dave's blog and his teaching.

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