I’ll just be honest – I am the weakest when I am the strongest. When I feel that I am in a position of theological or historical, or otherwise strength based on factual knowledge, and someone gets something wrong – I want to use words like ‘idiot’, ‘deft’, etc… Seriously, I’ve ran across some theological arguments which makes me what to take the person by the hand and help them to completely exit reality, seeing that they only exist here for small periods of time anyway. Or those who have really, really bad history. I don’t want to come off sounding like a know-it-all, or pompous, etc… in discussions, but sometimes, I just look, shake my head inwardly, and try to offer a very neutral answer. It doesn’t always work.
But, I struggle with that. And a whole host of other ways to live my life. I don’t do the big things – you now, no murdering and pillaging for me. But, it is the small, practical theological things that I struggle with. I am quite unsure of myself in social situations, especially involving those of fellow Christians, etc…
But, what do you struggle with in your Christian or other, everyday life?
Too often the challenge for mainline pastors, and one of the reasons churches began to be cautious about an educated clergy, is allowing our education to diminish our passion. When you focus on the intellect, and you devote yourself to study, there is a tendency to become a bit more broadminded, but often this comes at the expense of conviction and passion. It is important that we not let this happen. We cannot afford to have a “reasonless” Christianity, but neither can we afford a passionless one. (p53)
In a chapter in which he discusses Pentecostalism, and tries to make the case that Christians shouldn’t separate too easily the line of reason and passion.I am not sure that the loss of passion is always the reason that congregants tend to shy away from an educated clergy, however. For many, I suspect it is because those educated clergy tend to stomp upon the personal piety of the church goers…
In our discussion group, we spoke about speaking in tongues, being ‘slain in the spirit’, and feeling the presence of God. I might have lost all credibility of reason when I spoke to these things from a personal experience. While I do tend to favor the intellect, and would prefer to be reasonable, there are experiences that I cherish and continue to participate in.
I don’t let them get out of hand, and I don’t really share them with anyone, so whatever you do, don’t tell a soul.
But the question is, is how do we acknowledge the passion and personal experiences will maintaining Reason? Or, inject Intellect into the passionate?
By the way, Wesley was considered a “Reasonable Enthusiast“.
We are moving along with the this book, sometimes spending two weeks on a chapter. This week, the chapter was about listening to one another.
Adam Hamilton writes,
One of the reasons for today’s culture wars is the unwillingness of people on either the left or the right to listen to those with whom they disagree. They are quick to speak, and quick to anger, but slow to listen. (p43)
What do you think?
The GOP won control of the House on Tuesday. Fine. But the Democrats control the Senate and the White House, and yet…. Boehner and Mitchell are both demanding that the President bow to them like, pardon my vulgarity, the boy that he is. There will be no compromise, no listening, nothing. No matter that over half of this country didn’t participate in the vote, or that the majority of them are still Democrat. There is simply no compromise.
No listening. Nothing.
Do you think that we can learn, especially in a democratic republic, from listening to one another, and working with one another? Can we? Should we?
And, to what point is compromise a viable option? Not just in politics and the culture wars, but so too in our congregations and theological squabbles…
Do we ever seek to understand one another, to compromise where we can?
During a discussion group yesterday, we were discussion liberalism and legalism, and finding the sweet-spot between the two to empower believers. But…
The discussion turned to the notion of God’s laws and man’s laws, regarding legalism. One position put forth was that God’s laws does not change.
The counter position was that God’s laws do change, otherwise, we should endeavor to kill adulterers, homosexuals, and unruly children (Of course, this is coming from a conservative Christian reading of Leviticus 20). But, we don’t. Further, there is the notion of the ‘New Covenant’.
So, anyway, what do you think? Has God changed laws on us from time to time? But, more importantly, how many of God’s laws have we remade as the laws of man by our interpretation?