Friday, September 12, 2014

In all things charity

In Essentials Unity,
In Non-Essentials Liberty,
In All Things Charity

Rupertus Meldenius.(c. 1627)

A Calvinist warns against unwarranted heresy hunting:
Heresy can be what you believe, but perhaps just as often, heresy is the weight you give an issue you believe. “Fundamentalism” might be understood, in part, as too much weight given to certain aspects of Christian doctrine or practice.... Some people give such enormous weight to minor issues that the gospel itself is obscured. ....

Everything in the Bible is important, especially things that relate to salvation and evangelism. I have my own convictions. But we must learn to be comfortable with certain scriptural tensions, and live with grace and freedom in some places God has not bestowed clarity to the degree we’d prefer. As Alister McGrath says, the ability to live within scriptural tensions is a sign of maturity, not immaturity.

Supposedly Deuteronomy 29:29 was John Calvin’s favorite verse:
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of the law.
According to that verse, God has chosen to keep certain truths hidden from us. Most systematic theologians (myself included) don’t like the concept of “hidden things.” As a guy who minored in math in college, I want to resolve all tensions, remove all mysteries, and try to bring every hidden thing to light. ....

It takes humility to learn from people you disagree with. But that is how God has worked historically in his global, 2,000-year-old church. Let’s show the world that we can still be one body united around the gospel of Christ, even as we passionately disagree about other issues. .... [more]