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The Rules of the Game

Seven steps to proper interpretation

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Preachers today face a formidable challenge: how to communicate God's authoritative Word to the contemporary postmodern mindset. How can we preach in a way that minimizes the unspoken reply, "That's just your interpretation!" Such a statement reflects the popular notion that one interpretation is as good as another.

This, of course, has immense repercussions for biblical authority. Congregations must understand the authority for what we say comes not from our homiletical bag of tools, but from Scripture as God's inspired Word. Good preaching may be defined in many ways, but one thing is certain: There is no good preaching apart from good interpretation.

This article will use a baseball analogy to identify seven crucial hermeneutical principles for preparing sermons. In baseball, hitters proceed through seven stations to score a run. They begin in the dugout, move to the on-deck circle, then to the plate, first base, second base, third base, and finally home plate again to score.

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