Evangelical Hermeneutics by Robert L. Thomas

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Protestant Biblical Interpretation: A Textbook of Hermeneutics by Bernard Ramm, is still the standard textbook on grammatical-historical hermeneutics. But Robert Thomas’ Evangelical Hermeneutics is a valuable warning of the new hermeneutical systems that now challenge the grammatical historical, and the new theologies that are emerging as a result. While not for the casual reader, Thomas’ book shows how pre-understanding is rapidly replacing objective hermeneutics and exegesis. The danger is obvious and real. If the reader brings to the text of Scripture his own presuppositions, bias and prefaces, the meaning of Scripture will be shaped by the reader rather than by God – the inspired author. Thomas demonstrates that is exactly what is happening today in evangelicalism with the consequence being a free-for-all in biblical interpretation. Not only does this lead to much in the way of individual confusion, but has resulted in a hermeneutical system that allows for faulty theologies such as: progressive dispensationalism, evangelical feminism, open theism, missiology, contextualization and others.

This work is a powerful call to return to traditional grammatical-historical hermeneutics. It is a call that I hope many will heed.

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