Melanie Newton. Joyful Walk Bible Studies - always relevant - never fluff. Check it out at www.melanienewton.com.

ARE YOU READY TO START A BIBLE STUDY OR LEAD ONE FOR A GROUP?

Sign up to receive easy access to my free library of e-books and ministry resources.

Hi, I'm Melanie Newton. I help women learn how to study the Bible for themselves through my Joyful Walk Bible Studies and Graceful Beginnings books for anyone new to the Bible. I also teach online courses for anyone who wants to grow their Bible-teaching skills to help others walk joyfully with Jesus! I think it’s always the right time for a Dr. Pepper, that my family is the greatest, and being outside for even a few minutes is a daily necessity.

I have LOTS of Bible Studies and ministry resources on this website for you to use in your life and ministry. Enjoy!

Day
Hour
Minute
Second

Please donate to our ministry on September 14, 2017.

Make your dollar stretch further on September 14th—North Texas Giving Day—when you donate to our organization between 6am and midnight. Your dollar will be stretched with bonus funds and prizes raised by the Communities Foundation of Texas. Your donation will help us receive extra funds for our work in the Christian community. This year you can schedule your gift between September 7 and September 14 or make your gift on September 14 by visiting our North Texas Giving Day donation page!

Posted by Melanie Newton on August 10, 2017

Taming the “Look-Imagine-See” Dragon

Taming the Look-Imagine-See dragon method of Bible Study. MelanieNewton.com

I have been so saddened in recent months as I’ve seen prominent respected Christians pronounce their interpretation of certain scriptures based on a “look-imagine-see” method. What do I mean by “look-imagine-see?” Someone looks at a verse or passage, imagines what they want it to say, and then sees in their mind what they have imagined through twisting word meanings and interpretations. The result of their teaching feels a lot more comfy and cozy with the prevailing cultural views but is not intellectually honest. And, it really boils down to basing truth on someone’s opinion.

Cultural influence on Bible interpretation feeds this “look-imagine-see” method. You look at the passage, imagine a way for it to fit a particular cultural slant, then you see what you want to see. Look-imagine-see. Many types of false teaching through the years have started with this kind of “look-imagine-see” method. Once it starts, it’s like a fiery dragon burning truth in its path. The “look-imagine-see” method leads to error in any discipline based on truth. The brave thing to do is tame the dragon, at least as far as our own approach to Scripture is concerned. (more…)

Although this “look-imagine-see” approach to Scripture has been around for centuries, giving rise to heresies left and right, Darwin introduced the “look-imagine-see” methodology into scientific thinking as he invoked imagination into evolutionary scenarios. He visualized a bear evolving into a whale and human embryos reenacting their reptilian past. When looking at the lower portion of the axial skeleton and seeing this as the place where the embryo is yet to grow during spinal development, those who followed the “look-imagine-see” methodology would “see” a transient “tail” in their imaginations to reinforce their evolutionary bias. But there never is a tail. The embryo grows down to its coccyx, which begins anchoring developing muscles of the pelvic floor.1

But, evolutionary science is not the only modern user of the “look-imagine-see” method. Bible teaching Christians are using this as well to fit in with culture, to please academics who want to “improve” what the Bible teaches with their own ideas, or to apologize for Christians’ bad behavior and make it better by making Christians wrong in their moral stance. Using the “look-imagine-see” method of Bible interpretation can quickly become a fire-breathing dragon.

So, how do you tame the dragon?

1. Avoid the “look-imagine-see” method.

Well, the best way is to avoid the “look-imagine-see” way of looking at any verse in the first place. You do that by following the inductive process of Bible Study: observation (what the text says), interpretation (what was the author’s intended meaning—to him and to his audience that would read or hear it), and application (how to live this out in your life). That is the best way to study the Bible. Look at what’s there. Learn what it means and teaches you. Then, live it out in your life.

Actually, a long-time friend of ours who is now with Jesus used to say there were five steps to the inductive process: observation, observation, observation, then interpretation and application. We can get very lazy in the observation part. We begin to read into the Scriptures what we want to see there instead of making sure we see what IS there.

Get the Free Choose a Bible Study Checklist-MelanieNewton.com

2. Approach the Bible as sufficient, not needing our “improvement.”

The second way to tame the dragon is to approach the Bible as the breathed out Word of God as God intended it to be and not subject to human “improvement.” In it, we find what our God considers right and wrong across all nationalities, time periods, cultures, and levels of civilization. As Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “all Scripture is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.” Not liking what it says about any particular issue does not give us license to change it to be more comfy for everyone to accept.

I don’t know about you, but I want to make sure I am basing my faith on what IS in God’s Word, not something I have heard before and not something I am imagining to be there. So, approach the Bible as sufficient, not needing our “improvement.’

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty. (Jeremiah 15:16)

3. Discern truth from error by using the whole Bible, not just pieces.

The third way to tame the dragon is discern what we read and hear by comparing it with the complete revelation of God’s Word (the whole Bible). We can’t extract pieces of it (that is, a verse or group of verses) and build our foundation on that. Nor should we build our faith on experiences and feelings. There’s junk out there about God and “what He thinks” so it’s important to really get to know the God of the Bible and how to live our life in Christ truthfully. The Holy Spirit uses the Scripture we read and study to teach us about our God so we can know truth and dwell in that truth. Dangerous teaching comes from picking and choosing what you consider to be “truth.” All false teachers through the centuries have taken advantage of people who were not dwelling in the truth portrayed in the whole Bible.

Taming the dragon

Tame the “look-imagine-see” dragon. Don’t let yourself approach the Bible with that mindset. Stop listening to others who do. As Paul instructed the Colossians, “See to it that no one…” (Colossians 2:8) and “Do not let anyone…” (Colossians 2: 16.

Just say, “NO!”

 

1 Randy J. Guliuzza, P.E., M.D. 2016. Major Evolutionary Blunders: Haeckel’s Embryos Born of Evolutionary ImaginationActs & Facts. 45 (11).


RELATED:

Four Steps to Inductive Bible Study on Bible.org

Truth—the Prescription for Healthy Living

 

RELATED READING

I have been so saddened in recent months as I’ve seen prominent respected Christians pronounce their interpretation of certain scriptures based Read more.
You are now at part four of the 4-part “Choosing a Bible Study” series. In this series, I’m showing you Read more.
You are now at part three of the 4-part “Choosing a Bible Study” series. In this series, I’m showing you Read more.
Hey there! Welcome to part two of the 4-part “Choose a Bible Study” series. In this series, I’m showing you Read more.
It’s summer time. You might finally have a chance to work on a Bible Study for yourself. Or, you are Read more.
Hello friend! Welcome to part five of the 5-part “Leading a Bible Study for a Group” series. In this series, Read more.

No Jerks on the Job by Ron Newton

Take back control of your workplace!

SaveNo Jerks on the Job by Ron Newton. Check it out at ronnewton.com. No Jerks on the Job by Ron Newton. Check it out at ronnewton.com.


FREE CHECKLIST

How to Choose a Bible Study Checklist. Get it at melanienewton.com.

Get started on a Bible Study for yourself or for your friends!


Help me continue to provide Joyful Walk Bible Studies online by donating to this ministry.

Support Melanie Newton by donating to Joyful Walk Ministries through PayPal.


It is my joy to be able to provide free Bible studies for women and other downloadable resources on this website. If you’ve just start working through one of my studies, hooray! I hope you enjoy it and fall fresh in love with Jesus. Life cannot be any better than knowing Him!

Welcome to the Joyful Walk community…

Melanie