Application Without Exegesis: A Destructive Trend

Exegesis is foundational to understand scripture’s application to our lives. The problem is that many in the church want to hear the application without doing the work of the exegete. In many cases this has also been translated into the way many preachers preach. In order to keep congregants happy, they are given large amounts of life application with little if any scriptural content. This puts both the preacher and the congregant in a dangerous position, because now neither the preacher nor the churchgoer is tethered to the text. Two major problems can arise in the life of the church member because of this. First, even if the application of scripture is correct, when it is challenged by those who disagree, the church member is left defenseless when it comes to defending this truth biblically. And second, if the application is not truly derived from scripture, then the church member has been sold some kind self-help scheme as if were a “biblical principle.” And when this self help scheme eventually lets them down, not only will they be disappointed in the church, but they may even start to believe scripture is no longer trustworthy. This is indeed a destructive trend.

-Doug Eaton-

5 thoughts on “Application Without Exegesis: A Destructive Trend

  1. Another problem might be if a person is given an application without a biblical foundation, then that application is only good for that particular situation. Since they did not have the biblical foundation, they cannot apply it to other areas of their life. And in the end, they have really learned nothing.


  2. The other problem is that it simply devalues God’s word and redemptive history from the story of God’s love for his rebellious people to a book about how you can be the best you, that just happens to have some ugly stories like a guy dying on a cross.


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