Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Grab-Bag Tuesday (UPDATED)

Item 1 - Coffee Conversations has been removed from the link list for the time being. The scuffle between Coffee Conversations and Triablogue is getting annoying, and exemplifies the exact sort of name-calling and nastiness I'm sick and tired of. If things improve later, I'll re-add them.

Item 2 - For a real example of how those who disagree ought to dialogue, try the conversation between Andrew "TallSkinnyKiwi" Jones and Michael "White Horse Inn" Horton. The links to that conversation, with a witty and insightful commentary by JollyBlogger, are here. I can't let this quote from JollyBlogger go by, though...

But there is something else going on here that deserves some attention. The fact is that most of us don't have time to delve deeply into any particular controversy...

So what happens when a controversy arises which you don't have the time to investigate thoroughly enough to form your own solid, well grounded opinion? You listen to people you trust. You depend on their opinions to form your own opinions. So, if you are in a group that thinks that N.T. Wright is a wolf in sheep's clothing, the TNIV is the devil's bible, and the emerging church is the apostate church, then by golly, it's time to form up lines and resist all of these wolves, devils and apostates. My point is that it is the opinions and actions of our trusted leaders that usually guide us in our responses to these controversies, rather than our own investigations...

I think some of us have a fear that, if we dialogue (rather than preach at) with those with whom we disagree that this is the equivalent of endorsing their perceived errors, or even exposing ourselves to contamination. Some of us are very insecure in what we believe. We are afraid our beliefs won't hold up under cross-examination so we stay away from those we disagree with and talk about them rather than talk to them. I know I have been guilty of that. But I'm also of the opinion that a belief isn't much worth having if it can't stand up to examination or criticism.

And, sometimes our critics turn out to be friends after all. So, with that, I think it's safe to say that we traditionalists have permission to dialogue with the EC folks, after all, if Mike did it, so can we.

Item 3 - Part II of the NRO article I referenced yesterday is online (link here). While he paints a happy picture of the growth of "conservative" denominations (theologically conservative), I think the points the mentioned yesterday should give pause. Also, I have to wonder, how much of the growth he mentions is simply from those who are abandoning the mainlines? And how much is from new converts - or simple demographics if you take paedobaptism into account? ;-} And given the poll numbers about who believes what he mentioned yesterday, I still wonder. If a theologically muddled person leaves an apostate church for a market-driven church with 10-steps-to-improve-this-or-that-facet-of-your-life-with-handy-prooftext preaching, is it really an improvement? Check out the recent posts at Internet Monk on the role of Christ in our preaching to see where I'm coming from.

UPDATE - This is how things ought to work. A bishop in Uganda refused to confirm 62 of his congregation because they couldn't answer basic bible and creedal questions. (HT to iMonk)


Blogger burttd said...

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