I’m now blogging about chapter twenty-two of my book. The verse, Phil. 2.5, has been quoted as the model answer for Christian attitude so much so that it has become cliché, much in the same way as 1 Corinthians 11.1. When we hear it quoted in a topical sermon, the natural question we should ask is, “What attitude?” Do we have the same attitude as Christ when he went into the temple, threw down chairs and threw out people and animals? Or how about when Jesus called the religious leaders dead man’s bones (Matthew 23.27)? I bet that would go over real well when we have disagreements in church meeting.
The problem turning this verse into a stupid cliché comes from the way we read. The sentence of the verse does not end at Phil. 2.5. Rather, it ends at Phil. 2.8. Biblical verses are not standalone truths, no matter what popular preachers tell you.
As I always say, the texts are not at fault. The interpreter is!