Hank Hanegraaff addresses one example of taking Bible texts out of context that comes from the NBC television series The West Wing. —Hank Hanegraaff, "President Bartlet's Fallacious Diatribe" The Christian Research Journal, volume 23, number 3 (2001).
"Second Chronicles 7:14 is one of the most misinterpreted and mis-claimed verses in the Bible. But instead of just shutting someone down with a “you-took-that-verse-out-of-context” approach, we can help people by gently walking them through four basic steps of proper biblical interpretation." —Brett Kunkle, “If My People, Who Are Called by My Name, Will Humble Themselves and Pray…” Stand to Reason, May 3, 2017.
"The key to understanding any verse of Scripture is context… Because context is so important, a verse whose meaning and application seem straightforward when quoted in isolation may mean something significantly different when it is taken in context. —"Question of the Week: What Is the Meaning of 2 Chronicles 7.14?" GotQuestions?
Would you agree that 2 Chronicles 7.14 is often misunderstood and misapplied? Can you think of other texts that are similarly taken or quoted out of context? How does studying the historical and biblical context of a passage minimize that dangers of misapplying a biblical passage? How can a good Study Bible (ESV Study Bible, NIV Study Bible, NLT Study Bible) help us understand the context and meaning of scripture?
Why is humility so important for the people of God? What evidence do you so for humility (or its lack) in our culture today? Dr. John Oswald of Asbury Theological Seminary has observed that, "So long as a person or nation is arrogant, God can do nothing for them." How does arrogance/pride undermine our relationship with God and others and create unnecessary problems for us?
"This setting of the mind is the opposite of mental coasting. It is a conscious choice to direct the heart toward God. This is what Paul prays for the church: 'May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ' (2 Thessalonians 3:5). It is a conscious effort on our part. But that effort to seek God is a gift from God." John Piper, "What Does It Mean to Seek the Lord?" Desiring God, August 19, 2009.
How would you characterize your prayer life? What would you like to change about it? Why is prayer a critical component of our rescue, healing, and renewal? What does it mean to "seek the face of God"? What does God promise to those who seek Him with all their heart and soul?
"We all want progress. But if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-face and walking back to the right road; in that case, the person who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” —C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.
What is the shared meaning of the Old Testament Hebrew and New Testament Greek words that are translated repent? How can turning around be a step forward? Is it possible to add Jesus to your life without subtracting sin? 2 Chronicles 7.14 begins with the conditional word If. What are the conditions that are necessary for us to begin to experience rescue, healing, and renewal in our lives?