Thursday, June 29, 2006

Discussing Theology in a Godly Way

I co-moderate a Theology list. Sometimes things can get a bit heated, especially when people know they are right and the other geezer is wrong.

I know I need Steve Lehrer's wise words, and I think you do, too.

There is a time and place for absolute statements, but these should not be the common fare in theological discussion. The fact that we do not have a hotline to heaven but that we are all growing in our understanding of God’s Word should be evident in the words we use.

Lehrer then says that when he discusses theology, he must do so in language which reflects the fact that he is a "fallible man striving to represent my Lord." He suggests we should use language like this:
“It seems to me that your interpretation does not take into account Scriptures A and B. How do these Scriptures fit with your viewpoint?”

“From my perspective it appears that Scripture X means Y because of context Z, but I could be wrong about the context, what do you think?”

“That does not seem correct given Scriptures A, B, and C, but perhaps I am missing something. Do you see something that I have missed?”

Now it is certainly possible that you can go overboard using these qualifiers, but especially on points of contention it would seem that such careful and qualified language should be the norm.

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