For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed--God is witness. - 1Thessalonians 2: 3-5 (ESV)
Hermeneutics is a nice fancy word for interpreting the Bible. As we continue to proceed deeper into the end times we see more and more abuses of God's Word. Many now use the Word for their own purposes instead of God's. John Piper once said:
" The Truth of God begs to be handled with exultation. And our hearts yearn for this and need it. Something in us starts to die when precious and infinitely valuable realities are handled without feelings and words of wonder and exultation. That is, a church starts to die without preaching. "
As we see a shift away from expository preaching however we see the Bible being mishandled without this sense of exultation. Man centered theology does not seek to exult God but rather to exult man. Enter hyper-grace preaching and it's king - Joseph Prince. Mr. Prince "specializes" in preaching about the grace of God. It is a valuable, crucial portion of our faith and doctrine. It is sorely misunderstood and should be preached about so that people who are saved do not walk under the condemnation the enemy seeks to foist upon us. It is however only a portion of our doctrine. It is only a part of the Bible. To over hype any one facet of God is to neglect others at its expense. An unbalanced gospel is no gospel at all. The danger the preacher faces when he has a pre-determined objective is that he mutes what God might want to say that day. The manna is not always fresh then. When a preacher decides that his messages must support this narrow doctrinal view then he is more inclined to not pay closer attention to what those verses might actually mean. It is our job as preachers to relate what sayeth the Lord - not what sayeth man. We will now see this unfold as we examine the devotional from Joseph Prince yesterday.
The title of the devotional from Mr. Prince was, "You Have It, So Say It!" - and it can be found here:
The general premise as surmised by Prince is that if we would just believe that we have something, we will receive it. This is a typical sales-point in the prosperity and hyper grace movements. The extreme version of this was of course the word faith heresy which claimed that we can speak things into existence. In this very short devotional, Prince relies upon three Bible verses. Each of them he jerks out of context to prove his point and ignores what God is actually saying just to prop up his theology. We will look at each of these errors in detail. Mr. Prince's words will be underlined to differentiate. Here is how he begins: