I recently gave this advice… “Read widely, pray deeply and hold dogma tentatively”
In unpacking this advice; I mean the following.
- Read Widely….read authors whom you think you will disagree with and ensure you keep an open mind to really listen to what they are saying and not only what you think they are saying. Read on subjects you have no knowledge about. Read and interact with what is happening on a local, national and world wide sphere. Read on subjects you do know about to improve your knowledge. Finally read the Scriptures; not to be informed about facts and figures…rather do so to be built up in your relationship with Christ; who is the centre of Scripture.
- Pray deeply. Pray for those you disagree with and ensure you pray for yourself so that you will indeed have a ear to hear and to truly understand what that person is saying and that you won’t be disagreeable. Pray for your own wisdom and knowledge to increase. Pray for what is happening around you on a local, national and world wide basis. And finally pray that you will continue to know and grow in the knowledge and love of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Be humble. Be willing to change. Be willing to be challenged. Be willing to be wrong. Be willing to admit that in the end it is Christ who knows all…and that in reality we can only ever know in part. This doesn’t mean that we can’t hold our own views. Indeed – through prayer and reading widely allow yourself to hold an opinion and develop your basis of belief as to what you believe and why you believe it and hold those beliefs . In doing this don’t hold them with arrogance and belligerence… nor be swayed or dismayed by every fine sounding argument that may differ to yours.