An important concept to me is context.
I’m chatting to a good friend Ben. He recently married a beautiful woman named Jenna, whom he loves very much, and he says, I could just kill Jenna, after telling me of how she repeatedly leaves dirty dishes around the house. Am I concerned for Jenna’s safety?
I’m chatting to Harry, someone I barely know, but I know from his case file that he has a history of domestic violence. He says about his wife, I could just kill Sarah, after telling me about the affair he thinks she’s been having. Am I concerned for Sarah’s safety?
I feel most of us would reply no to the first scenario, and yes to the second. We judge what they say, according to the personalities and histories of the men in question. This is context. If I found out that Ben had been accused of murdering Jenna, I would have serious doubts, because that act contradicts his history and personality.
The most important context to me for the purpose of my faith is Gods’ personality. We judge what we read in the bible, what we read in other theological texts, and what we see in the world, according to the personality and history of God.
This means that when reading these things, I both have to consider what they are telling me and also how that matches with Gods’ personality and history.
Which means I need to have a clear concept of who God is.