What the Bible Says

I'm fairly sure I ran out of good blog topics somewhere around three years ago. So, I'm always really excited when I remember some smart advice I received in the past but had forgotten to blog about. That happened earlier in the week when I talked to my socialist... ahem "Canadian" friend Drew.

He and I were talking about one of the various theological issues people like to get themselves wrapped around and where we landed with respect to that position when I remembered some advice a professor of mine gave me one time: "It's almost never a good idea to define yourself using someone else's categories. It is far more helpful to begin your sentences with "I believe the Bible says..."

That's really great advice. Anyone who leads with "I'm a Calvinist" will have to spend the rest of the conversation trying to distinguish himself from the wackos who don't believe that it is important to talk about Jesus because "God's already predestined people anyway." Anyone who leads with "I'm an Arminian" will have to prove that they're not a part of a Pentecostal snake-handlers movement from the Appalachian mountains. A "dispensationalist" will instantly be lumped in with people who believe that the Left Behind series is an inerrant third testament of the Bible.

When you define yourself in a category, you will be instantaneously lumped-in with everyone who ever held that point of view, and normally caricatured alongside the most bizarre person someone can think of.

Rather than categorizing yourself, it's far more productive to answer a question, "I believe Scripture teaches..." and couch your theology in light of what the Bible teaches rather than which group we like the best.


The Kinley's said...

God has gifted you Chris. This is one of my favorites that I'm going to incorporate into my vocab