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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Hey Everybody,
Check this out: http://www.johnharmstrong.com/Viewpoint/7.8.04VP.pdf. A most fascinating treatment of how we arrive at theological conclusions today, elevating our own theological systems as a Judge or a prism through which we read the Word of God, especially in fundamentalism*, though not exclusively. Particularly interesting is a tendency to make core issues out of theological disagreements whose battle lines were drawn by our theological paradigms themselves! John Armstrong says that God quite naturally is above our understanding. Not unknowable, mind you, but that we should take confessional positions with caution and humility, because our understanding is not the benchmark for the truth of the Word of God. We must be willing to accept mystery, he says. (Paging Rev. Tamerius!) A lack of clarity indeed, for the sake of unity. All this bleeds into this week's Weekly Messenger from John, chronicling the interesting debate within the Southern Baptist Convention concerning the use of the ecumenical creeds. As he points out in the above article, the church can never create anything new, she merely testifies to Jesus. Thus, the creeds are a means of unity for the church, so hindered by disunity on matters of lesser importance. As has been noted here before, there's nothing but the basics in both the Apostles' and Nicene creeds. Since our mission as the church is to confess the name of Jesus to a lost world, what better way than this?

*Fundamentalism is a term of relative position, in my view. People use it to describe positions they consider extreme, and in error. I will let Armstrong define it as he wishes, as I have no suitable personal definition of the term.

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