Which is correct…emphasis…or emPhaSis?
You could say that they both are. They both use the same letters, and they both are the same word.
But they do sound different. And if someone spoke that way, putting stronger emPhaSis on certain sylLaBles…it might be tough trying to make out what they were really saying.
Because the Bible is not self-evident, it must be interpreted. The interpretive grid, or prism, that one decides to use will determine the emphasis of the interpretation.
When one uses the grid of “free will” , “decision theology“…one will emphasize the self much more prominently than an interpreter who uses the interpretive grid of a “bound will“, where God has to make the choice for the sinner.
The words may be the same but the emPhaSis will defintely skew the understanding of those words.
When Christian traditions (or non-traditions) emphasize the start of the Christian life with the sinner (even unwittingly) they will get a Christianity that is self- focused.
You can often end up with a Christianity that places a large emphasis on personal Christian growth, personal spirituality (however you would define that), moral living (biblical principles for living), and trying to get others to do the same.
This is a formula for self-righteousness, phoniness, and or uncertainty and despair.
This is why many of us are so interested in attempting to get others to change their grid of interpretation to one that asserts the centrality of Christ..and His work for us, rather than shifting Christ to the edges a little more and empasizing the things that we should, ought, or must be doing.
If you have a proBlem with this…pLease let me know.
Filed under: Biblical Interpretive Grid | 48 Comments »