I’ve posted a couple of articles on Old Testament exegesis recently. But while disciplined and systematic study of the Biblical text is vitally important, I’m always conscious of the dangers of it becoming just an intellectual exercise. That’s one of the reasons this blog is called Head Heart Hand. It is to emphasize that while God usually begins by addressing the head, what is understood with the head must impact our hearts (our emotions, feelings, desires, etc), and ultimately be outworked in practical ways in our lives (our “hands”).
I was reminded of this when I read Learn from Darwin by Jon Bloom at Desiring God Ministries. Jon explains how though the young Charles Darwin considered entering the ministry, he eventually turned to the study of beetles, plants and rock formations.
He spent the rest of his life intensely observing things, reducing them to their component parts and theorizing where they came from and why they behaved as they did…
…all that time in his laboratory abstracting theories from facts had conditioned his mind to analyze to such a degree that he could no longer enjoy beauty just for what it was.
Darwin himself mourned that, “The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.”
John Bloom concludes, “Too much dissection robbed him of delight.”
Let’s beware of that result when exegeting Scripture, and make sure that all our dissection leads to delight.