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Who is Pastor Gervase Charmley?

Charmley’s bio reads,

Gervase N. Charmley was born in Norwich in 1980 and converted to Christ during his first term at Chester University, England in 1998. He was baptized in 2000 and began preaching in 2002. He trained at the London Theological Seminary in 2004-6. He emphasizes the doctrines of the Bible, and especially the penal substitution of Christ on the Cross at Calvary. He was an itinerant preacher from 2006-2009, when he served six months as Assistant pastor at Tabor Baptist Church, Llantrisan, South Wales. In September 2009 he was called to minister at Bethel Evangelical Free Church, Hanley, Stoke on Trent, and was called as the pastor of Bethel in the Spring of 2010.” http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?SpeakerOnly=true&currSection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Gervase%5ECharmley (Accessed 27/03/2012)

Pringle gave a sermon in San Diego called ‘God Creates With Words’. Chris Rosebrough from ‘Fighting For The Faith’ (www.fightingforthefaith.com), reviewed this sermon:

Chris Rosebrough Critiquing Phil Pringle At C3 San Diego (12/02/2012)

Gervase Nicholas E. Charmley wrote to Chris Rosebrough in regards to the sermon review on Phil Pringle.

March 22, 2012

Perry Noble Repents…Sort Of

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At 18:35, Charmley’s writes

Phil Pringle is a twit

Dear Chris

Imagine my surprise as I heard Phil Pringle in his ‘God Creates with Words’ ‘sermon’ refer to a particularly silly liberal speculative (mis-) reading of the Song of Solomon. I cannot imagine anything less faithful to the Biblical narrative than the idea that Solomon is the villain who is coming between the rustic couple. Solomon is never presented as a villain in the Bible (though he is presented as a king who ultimately fails to be faithful to the covenant with God), and in post-Biblical literature (and the LXX), he is presented even more positively. Indeed nothing could be more certain than that the understanding of the Song of Solomon presented by Pringle is the product of a modern western understanding that finds the idea of Solomon’s love for a woman being celebrated distasteful in the light of his harem. This is a curious example of cultural myopia; the fact the we do not find it easy to think of Solomon as having been celebrated in this way does not mean that an ancient Israelite would not. As the well-worn quotation says, “The past is another country, they do things differently there,” and if we add to that the fact that we are dealing with the past of another country, well, we shall realise that we have to tread carefully.

I heard of this idea in Seminary, and I find that it is briefly dealt with by a few commentaries of the more liberal stripe, which rather amusingly reject it. To say that it is highly unlikely to be the key to the book is an understatement – it is completely impossible. A.S. Herbert in Peake’s Commentary (1962, Thomas Nelson) notes that the idea displays more ingenuity than fidelity to the Biblical text, and requires us to think that the book is in effect a secular drama of a type unknown in the ancient Semitic world. What is more, the bride is called the Shulamite, or Shelomith, probably a feminine form of Solomon’s own name; she is presented as his counterpart, the one who is made for him. Probably the work actually comes from the early life of Solomon, and may represent his first marriage.

So, a bad interpretation of the book is then badly allegorised! I mean, there is a standard allegorical understanding of the Song of Solomon, that is one thing, but to take a speculative ‘literal’ understanding and then to allegorise that is just criminal. I mean, talk about complete idiocy! If he was trying to give the worst possible supposed exegesis of the Song of Solomon, I do not think that he could do any worse!

In the name of our blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Gervase Nicholas E. Charmley.

“I know I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour.” — John Newton