BEN: I once had a more Pentecostal student approach me frustrated with all the exegesis stuff and the requirements to read commentaries and study the Bible in its original contexts who said to me ‘I don’t know why I need to learn all that stuff, why I can just get up into the pulpit and the Spirit gives me utterance!’ My reply was: ‘Yes Charlie you can do that but it’s a shame you are not giving the Spirit more to work with.’ What do you say to people that think if they have the Bible, and the Holy Spirit in their lives, and are thinking clearly on a given day, that’s all they need for correctly interpreting the Bible? What do you say to Protestants with that sort of anti-intellectual approach to the Bible?
RHYNE: A few things: first, the Bible nowhere guarantees we learn its meaning by osmosis of the Spirit! The work of the Spirit does not give us the freedom to bypass the hard work of interpreting the Bible. Rather, the Bible talks about ways in which the Spirit enables us to believe what the text says about God, the gospel, and ourselves. Second, just because I have the Spirit at work in my life does not guarantee I will have a perfect interpretation of the text. Spirit-filled Christians can have the same Holy Spirit and reach differing conclusions about what the text means.