Legalists and antinomians are equally guilty of hermeneutical gerrymandering to annex New Testament texts to foreign modes of ethical discourse. Christian preachers, at least since the time of Clement of Alexandria, have preached hundreds of thousands of disastrous sermons that say, in effect, ‘Now the text says x, but of course it couldn’t really mean that, so we must see the underlying principle to which it points, which is y.’ Let there be a moratorium on such preaching! The New Testament’s ethical imperatives are either normative at the level of their own claim, or they are invalid.”
– Richard B. Hays in his classic The Moral Vision of the New Testament.
One thought on ““Let there be a moratorium on such preaching!””
I just read this which I thought you would appreciate in view of the above:
“The word of sound faith (Tit 1.13, 2.2) conveys its strength in simplicity to those who welcome the God-inspired utterances (cf. 2 Tim 3.16) with a good disposition. **It has no need of subtle interpretation to assist its truth, since it is able to be grasped and understood in itself from the primary tradition.**
We received it from the Lord’s own voice when he imparted the mystery of salvation in the washing of regeneration (Tit 3.5). Go, he said, make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (St. Gregory of Nyssa ,To Heracleianus the heretic)