Sunday, January 11, 2009

How Wrong is Wrong?!?

It's all dark but I'm okay with that.
Which eye do you want me to aim at you with?
Not afraid of the dark. Light, however, is way too intense.

Somebody once said -- and it's been variously attributed around greater blogdom -- something to the effect of:
"Twenty percent of my theology is wrong; I just don't know which twenty percent."
Some people quote this with varying percentages, up to seventy percent error but without knowing which seventy percent. But what they all have in common -- regardless of the actual percentage being claimed -- is the belief that this attitude represents a true and admirable humility. A respectably "chastened epistomology".

Let's cut to the chase here: if you really, truly believe that seventy percent of what you say may be theological cow patties, then please shut up until you sort out what you believe.

I guess another way of putting it would be: how much darkness negates light? We usually boldly say something about a single candle can make darkness flee. Does that analogy work when it comes to what we believe? When does the inability to focus on and articulate truth negate our ability to say "we see"? (cf. the three pix at the top of this post)

I mean, I wouldn't seek treatment for a life-threatening illness from a doctor who (humbly or otherwise) stated that they was 70% wrong about medicine, and they weren't sure which 70%. And a dentist sticking a drill in my mouth with a similar skill percentage? Not likely, amigo.

If we take "chastened epistomology" to mean less arrogance, less hair-splitting over non-essentials, and more grace towards others with differing views, then by all means let's pursue it.

But if we use "chastened epistomology" to mean that we can't say anything definitively, then I wonder if we're not playing some sort of theological russian roulette.

Because if we believe that James 3:1 is part of the Canon...
"Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly."
...then no matter how humbly we say it, being content with high percentages of uncertainty disqualifies us.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009: A Thousand Questions

Let the heart-cry and message of this video set the tone for 2009.