Presuppositions: Those Shades Are Cool!

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God's <abbr>EPIC</abbr> Adventure
It has become fashionable in the West to wear sun shades to protect the eyes. They come in all shapes and sizes and all kinds of colors. It just so happens that we all wear some color of shades in our glasses when we read Scripture, which is the presuppositions that we bring to the text we are reading. We all have them. Once in a discussion with my father-in-law about Scripture, he announced that he did not have any presuppositions when he read the Gospels. My reply, “your presupposition is that you don’t have any presuppositions.” He was not a happy camper with that response.

We all start somewhere. The starting point will determine the ending point. As an example, on the West Coast, there is the main Interstate highway with the number 5 (I-5 for short). It runs from Blaine, WA in the North to the Mexican border below Chula Vista, CA in the South. Let’s say you were in Portland, OR and you wanted to go to San Francisco, CA. You can’t get there on I-5 South. You can go part way, but I-5 doesn’t go to San Francisco. Driving South on I-5 from Portland predetermines where you are going. You can’t get anywhere else except where I-5 delivers you.

The same is true with our presuppositions. They predetermine before we start where we will end. Assume that you believe that Jesus is returning to rapture the Church before the Tribulation. That is your presupposition and as you read the text of Scripture you find all sorts of verses that support that presupposition.

So what, you may be saying. “I’m perfectly happy reading Scripture that way because it is the truth that Jesus is coming back before the Tribulation.” What if you put on a different color of shades through which you read the text of Scripture? What if instead of verses to collect to prove a point, Scripture is a Story to be lived in for the sake of the world. How would that change your way of reading the text?

As you read these articles, I am going to offer you a different way of reading and thinking about Scripture. I am going to offer you a different set of shades, a different set of presuppositions. My hope is that you will give time and attention to the way in which you presently read Scripture and if any of the thoughts presented herein find lodging with you and you decide to change some of your presuppositions, well, let’s just say that I would be pleased with your transition even though it might be very painful to move.

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Jesus Followers


There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.


(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)