It seems like every so often, some perceptual illusion goes viral on the Internet. A few years back, it was whether the dress was black with blue stripes or gold with white stripes. Yesterday, I started encountering a recording which, when played, sounds either like “Yanny” or “Laurel”, depending on who you are. I’m Team Laurel, by the way, which I suppose means that you hear “Laurel” if your three-year-old son ruined your hearing by repeatedly sneaking up behind you and screaming in your ear. Thanks, Marky!
Such differences in perspective are trivial, but similar differences emerge in the critically important realm of understanding God’s word. For instance, a week or two ago, I put up a sermon manuscript in which I argued that in the Exodus account, God began actively hardening Pharaoh’s heart sometime in Exodus 9. However, I have some friends who are hardly Biblical lightweights who see things differently. They think God began to harden Pharaoh’s heart from the very beginning of his encounters with Moses. We’re reading the same text, we agree on what each verse says, but we disagree on what it means.
How do we handle that? Continue reading