Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day and the Song of Solomon

At Valentine's Day, I've noticed a number of bloggers have turned their attention to the Song of Solomon. I suppose this is to be expected. Whatever exactly this book of the Bible talks about, it clearly does so using terms of romantic love.

Throughout history, Christians have had many reactions to the Song. One is to completely ignore it out of discomfort with the subject matter. It goes without saying that with any part of Scripture, this is an unacceptable attitude.

For those who do look to the Song, there are various ways it has been interpreted. Some within the Church have allegorized it, contending that it is solely about God and his relationship with the church, and it has nothing to say about romantic love between individuals.Yet another way that some have dealt with it is by turning it into nothing more than a marriage manual, neglecting altogether what it might have to say to us about God, and specifically Jesus Christ. To apply either of these approaches, in my opinion, is to fall terribly short of understanding what God is telling us in this book.

A couple years ago at the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary Conference, Dr. Iain Campbell preached what was not only the best sermon I've ever heard on the Song, but was (especially in its second half) one of my favorite sermons ever on any text. Click on the player below to listen to it.

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