"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15
A detective who ignores evidence…is not much of a detective
So I have been studying the wonderful topic of hermeneutics. If you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry, I am sure you are not alone. If you have been reading our blog for a while, we have talked briefly about hermeneutics. Stated simply hermeneutics is the study of the Bible. Sure a textbook definition would be much lengthier, but this will work for now. So I came across a topic while reading that I thought was interesting. You see, there are several wrongs ways of studying the Bible. One of the more common wrong ways of interpreting the bible is called the selective evidence fallacy. This fallacy occurs when we cite just the evidence that supports our favored interpretation or when we dismiss evidence that seems to argue against our view. An analogy, imagine a detective going into a crime scene. He dismisses the finger prints that clearly point to the person that did it, because he decided as he approached the scene that someone else did it.
The above example is something we hear of on several occasions. Each time we hear about we are outraged that someone would do that. The odd thing is that most people offer no outrage when people use this same approach when interpreting the Bible.
Take the book of Job for example. Let me know show you selective evidence in practice from Kenneth Copeland. This can be found at the following link: http://www.kcm.org/real-help/article/acting-fear-look-jobs-life
We all know the Copeland has a favored interpretation that the book of Job has to fit into. This would be an interpretation that would have to include the use of faith in some fashion.
The first point that Copeland makes: The sacrifices that Job made were supposed to have only been once. Since he did it multiple times, Job sacrificed in unbelief. As a result, the thing he feared came upon him.
Here Copeland needs to find a way to blame Job for his misfortune. The fundamental premise here is the Job no longer walked in faith, and as a result of this HE brought down this judgement on himself. The reality is that there was nothing wrong with what Job was doing. In fact the Bible mentions nothing about Jobs unbelief, rather we see God commending Job at the beginning. As for the sacrifices… The author specifically mentions that this was his custom. Another thing the Bible says is the Job was BLAMELESS, and UPRIGHT. Initial Evidence here indicates that if Job was upright and blameless, and his sacrificing, must have been as well. Remember it was his custom, something he regulary did. If what Job was doing was wrong, would he be upright and blameless? Probably not. In order for Copelands theology to hold he must insert or read into some of the things in the Bible. There is nothing in the beginning of Job which indicates that Job’s sacrifice is wrong. Further more there is nothing to indicate that Job’s sacrifice was due to unbelief or a lack of faith.
The second point Copeland makes: Job was not aware of a personal Devil. Instead, Job believed that God was the reason for what happens to him.
Here Copeland again must fit the book of Job into his theology. His theology regarding this is that God has no authority on Earth. Here Copeland has to look for evidence to support his theology in order for his theology to hold true. The book of Job however tells a different story. Again, we see at the beginning of Job where God allows Satan to do things to Job to test his faith. Copeland ignores key evidence at the beginning of the book where God grants authority for Satan to hurt Job in a test of his faith (Job 1:6 – 12 and Job 2:1 – 6), and where God explains how he is the Creator of everything (Job 38 – 42). This evidence in the Book of Job is contrary to the evidence that Copeland submits (or lack of evidence).
The book of Job is an illustration of God’s authority on Earth. This very point is contrary to Copelands theology which denies God’s authority on earth. This is a perfect example of the selective evidence fallacy.