Hermeneutical Asperger’s

or Technicians and Intuitions – 2

Conservative theologians have bravely held the fort like the guardians of heaven. Unfortunately, when it comes to biblical interpretation, they are boring as hell.

Paul Washer recently tweeted: “The measure of biblical truth that we have grasped is not determined by the size of our heads, but the breadth of our hearts.”

The divide between the head and the heart is an issue of integrity, of holiness. But even within the realm of “head knowledge,” the intellectual level of Biblical interpretation, there is a sort of left brain/right brain divide. The issue here is not one of holiness. It is one of “intellectual sex.”

[This post has been refined and included in Sweet Counsel: Essays to Brighten the Eyes.]

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5 Responses to “Hermeneutical Asperger’s”

  • QuantumGreg Says:

    Mike, you wrote, “God’s single commandment was indeed straight forward, but it left a great deal unsaid. Adam was supposed to ‘read between the lines’ based on his relationship as God’s son. What was the true intention of the Father? Adam certainly had enough to go on.”


    “Adam was the first liberal theologian. If Adam had been instead a conservative theologian, he would have faithfully refused to eat from the Tree of Judicial Knowledge, but not figured out what to do with the serpent. ‘What do you mean I was supposed to crush the serpent’s head? You didn’t state that explicitly in the text!’ It required some intuition, some anticipation of the Father’s intentions for him based upon His earlier promises.”

    Amen. This has opened my eyes more and more. Seeing, for example, Jesus as the Last Adam, shows what Adam should’ve been. It shows that God gave Adam some things to do and a goal to reach. It shows that Paradise (the Garden of Eden) was not the goal but merely the starting point. It shows that Adam, being a mortal man, was supposed to read between the lines, take the resources of Eden outward to the rest of the planet and make order out of the chaos just like God had done in Creation. It shows that Adam was supposed to attain to immortality (where Jesus the Man ended up). But Adam failed right out of the starting block. This, if you will, put another obstacle (besides just obedience) in the way of Adam (mankind) attatining to the state of rest where Jesus the Man ended up. The goal was made unreachable through mankind at that point. But then along comes the Last Adam.

    The Last Adam shows what the First Adam should’ve been. To see this requires MUCH reading between the lines. It requires looking at the OT and seeing all the stories moving (or rather, recapitulating) toward a greater and greater expression of what God intended the First Adam be. But all those recapitulations ended in failure… until Jesus.

    And now that the Last Adam has been successful in showing us how the First Adam should’ve acted, we can now become partakers and participators in making order out of the chaos of earth. Once again, we’ve been given an Eden from which we can say, “as in heaven, so on earth” and marry the two again, bringing God’s full expression into view and ultimately ending up with an actual new heaven and earth filled with “Last Adams.”

    Again, I can’t express enough thanks for opening this analytical, “boring as hell” conservative engineer’s head to the asthetic beauty of reading between the lines of scripture and seeing the Father’s intention in Jesus Christ and thus, humankind.

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Thanks Greg – I like the way you think. It is certainly systematic, but a different kind of systematic.

  • Dave Says:

    I bet if Adam had successfully refused to eat from the tree, Eve would have suggested to bash the snake’s head in ;-)

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Well, didn’t you just steal my thunder? You ANTICIPATED my next post!

  • Dave Says:

    ha ha, that’s funny… I’d love to say its because you’re such a great teacher (which you are), but it’s probably due to the influence of my primary trainer – my wife ;-)