Tuesday, April 14, 2009

MacArthur: tearing the dress from the Song

I blogged though some of my reading in the Song of Soloman last year. I think it gatecrashed my 'top five books of the Bible' (a list i keep with the other heretical ones i make, 'top five reasons i love the orthodox church' for example) but the more i read it, the more sure i became that it was about Christ and the Church, and then man and woman. Irish Calvinist has linked to an article by John MacArthur who's no nonsense, straight talking exegetical ministry i'm really growing to appreciate:

But it has become popular in certain circles to employ extremely graphic descriptions of physical intimacy as a way of expounding on the euphemisms in Solomon’s poem. As this trend develops, each new speaker seems to find something more shocking in the metaphors than any of his predecessors ever imagined.

Thus we are told that the Shulammite’s poetic language invoking the delights of an apple tree (Song 2:3) is a metaphor for oral sex. The comfort and delight of a simple embrace (2:6) is not what it seems to be at all. Apparently it’s impossible to describe what that verse really means without mentioning certain unmentionable body parts.

We’re assured moreover that the shocking hidden meanings of these texts aren’t merely descriptive; they are prescriptive. The secret gnosis of Solomon’s Song portray obligatory acts wives must do if this is what satisfies their husbands, regardless of the wife’s own desire or conscience. I was recently given a recording of one of these messages, where the speaker said, “Ladies, let me assure you of this: if you think you’re being dirty, he’s pretty happy.”

Such pronouncements are usually made amid raucous laughter, but evidently we are expected to take them seriously. When the laughter died away, that speaker added, “Jesus Christ commands you to do this.”

That approach is not exegesis; it is exploitation. It is contrary to the literary style of the book itself. It is spiritually tantamount to an act of rape. It tears the beautiful poetic dress off Song of Solomon, strips that portion of Scripture of its dignity, and holds it up to be laughed at and leered at in a carnal way.


Anonymous said...

Excellent stuff man.

Anonymous said...

Wow, have you read the comments on the article? There's lots of disunity going on over this. Still, it will be good to read the articles on the careful handling of SoS over the next couple of days.

FloydTheBarber said...

It's the same old story for people's reaction to MD though. He'll always be too 'liberal' for the conservative/fundementalists and too conservative/Reformed for the emerging/liberal crowd. So he gets it from both sides. Hopefully this series won't turn into an open invitation for people to criticise him.

Anonymous said...

To Floyd the Barber, who said, "Hopefully this series won't turn into an open invitation for people to criticise him,(Driscoll),"
I say, for the sake of the purity of the Body of Christ, it is time to question Driscoll's kinky ideas which include an*l sex, sex toys and Christian Nymphos, sacred stripping etc etc. Mark Driscoll has stepped over the biblical line. It is very interesting to hear Christians excuse, defend or want to ignore this "other side" of Mark Driscoll.It is not an issue of liberal or conservative. It is an issue of perverting the Song of Solomon with Driscoll's figments of his own imaginations, which are sick and taking the Church through his gutter.Did you hear the sermon he gave in Scotland in 2007? Stop making excuses for Driscoll.Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and what he said two years ago was shameful!