Your Own Personal Exegesis

While I haven’t seen it, there is a new play about teenagers that’s gathering steam in a new York city theatre. Billed and reviewed as a coming of age comedy, the play is about a church, it’s youth pastor, and it’s youth group. Of course, as one who was a youth pastor and who now trains youth pastors, I’m interested! But it’s the title of the play that not only fuels my interest further, but which gives me pause along with cause for concern. The play is titled “Your Own Personal Exegesis.” If you’re unfamiliar with the term exegesis, it’s the task which all responsible bible scholars, preachers, teachers, youth pastors, and parents should engage in by working to understand the true meaning of a biblical text. It requires a host of tools and skills that have been passed down throughout church history. And that’s why the title concerns me. Your own personal exegesis insinuates one feels their way into the text’s meaning. And while that is happening for many, it needs to stop.