The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork…. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple…. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19—NKJV)

Western societal decay has advanced as the general acceptance of literally interpreting the Bible has declined. In fact, I would argue that one of the causes of the devolvement of our cultural norms is the abandonment of literal interpretation. Even among professing Christians, moral relativity and the inability to identify spiritual absolutes for the purpose of unabashedly applying them in a discerning fashion is a lost art, especially among today’s young people. Some would say that they believe a great many evils have come upon mankind due to literal interpretations of the Bible. For a person to have an opinion such as this, he must have been exposed to something less than a true, literal, biblical interpretation somewhere along the line.

A true, literal hermeneutic allows the Bible to interpret itself. The Bible has a context in history; it uses historical languages with commonly accepted rules; it has a primary audience which would have understood meanings within its work-a-day context; it has an Author who is not bound by the created rules which He made, and He is using all this earthbound context to express heaven-bound truth. The Bible is the only book in the whole world that is inspired (God-breathed—2 Timothy 3:16–17), therefore the Word of God must be “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2:15).

The kind of literal interpretation I am referring to is a grammatical, contextual, and historical hermeneutic. One must begin from the perspective of the original hearers and from the basis of the fact that the Bible has a single Author. Therefore, the Bible must be allowed to interpret itself. This basic understanding of the manner of Scriptural revelation leads us to the conclusion that “if the plain sense of Scripture makes sense, then seek no other sense,” and we must refrain from spiritualizing because “when you spiritualize, you tell spiritual lies which blind spiritual eyes.” In other words, let the Bible tell you what is intended to be a “type” of something else, and recognize the difference between biblically solid interpretations and current practical applications. Any other form of “literal” interpretation ceases to be exegesis (faithful to the Author and His text) and morphs into eisegesis (a Bible that is at the mercy of an interpreter). This distinction is also the basic difference between biblical theology and systematic theology.

The “reprobate mind” of Romans 1:28 (one devoid of the knowledge of God) cannot adequately grasp all of what a born-again, Spirit-quickened, and spiritually enabled mind quickly and naturally perceives (1 Corinthians 2:10–15). The saved mind thirsts for genuine literal interpretation in order to gain practical insight, while the unsaved mind always rebels against absolute biblical authority. The reprobate mind, unaided by God, is predisposed against the natural created order of natural revelation described in Psalm 19 verses 1–6, therefore it refuses to submit to the special revelation of the Word of God described in verses 7–11, and it remains insensible to the authentic worship found in verses 12–14. But remember, just because the unsaved mind is insensible to the message of God in creation, it does not excuse his unbelief.

Atheistic evolution works to mute the voice of the wonders of creation. David uses some powerful words to express the purpose of the heavens above and the earth beneath. He states that creation declares, proclaims, pours forth and displays God’s majesty, wisdom, and power. God’s glory, His touch, His wisdom is imprinted on all we see, all we investigate, and all the order we comprehend. The atheistic evolutionist is blind to the greatest wonder of all of creation—that which it reveals concerning its Creator. He becomes insensible to the introduction that creation provides to draw him to his own Maker. In his blinded state, all his earthbound learning only leaves an unsaved man to wallow in his self-enslaved, self-absorbed humanism, honoring no absolutes beyond his own will.

Creation is designed to acquaint man with the wonder of God, who is the Author of this marvelous book we call the Bible. Verses 7–11 portray the Word in many of its energetic ways: it converts, imparts wisdom, dispenses joy and insight; it is eternal truth; it freely gives advice and warning; and it lavishes rewards upon all who will yield and embrace it. Just as one who recklessly ventures out into creation heedless of its wild power is doomed to pay a heavy price, so is one who willfully ignores the literal admonitions of Holy Writ, hazarding eternal ruin. Do not be foolish in earthbound wisdom. Remember the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Trust and obey.