Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A short review of Exegetical Fallacies by D. A. Carson

Exegetical FallaciesExegetical Fallacies by D.A. Carson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Carson is here at his exegetical best. I believe every Christian should read this book. Carson handles word-study, grammatical, logical, presuppositional and historical fallacies.

Under the word-study fallacy he handles one of the great fallacies we have heard in the church for the past 30 years: the so-called differences between agape and phileo, and many more.

In his chapter on grammatical fallacies, Carson deals extensively with issues of Greek translation, where preachers and teachers would make comments based on the Greek. He explains how Greek is a very flexible language and that assumptions based on a little Greek knowledge could actually be very incorrect!
D. A. Carson
Next, Carson deals with logical fallacies. This is where many Christians get tripped up. There are many areas in which Christians make false assumptions when dealing with logic, especially while reading the Bible. in this chapter we learn how to read the Bible with our minds active and in thinking mode. Truth is propositional, and we need to know how to handle those propositions correctly.

In His chapter on presuppositional and historical fallacies, Carson explains how our own frame of reference can influence how we read the Bible, and how to read the Bible correctly, understanding what it means from the author's perspective. He also shows how our interpretation of history can be muddled up under the historical fallacies. How do we read history? How do we interpret it? Are we reconstructing historical events correctly, and what caused them?

In his concluding chapter, Carson quickly goes through several more fallacies in summary fashion, such as problems with literary genre, arguments from silence, statistical arguments and more.

In my opinion, every person who is serious about studying the Bible should read this book. It certainly helps in recognizing the pitfalls of interpreting the Bible, and teaches us to think more while we study the Bible. God, after all, is a thinking God!

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