Saturday, September 19, 2009

Certainly Not: Part One

I would assume, and I think this is a safe assumption, that if you asked a crowd of about 300 people to raise their hand if they thought something they believed was false - no hands would go up. Nobody thinks something they believe is wrong, otherwise - they wouldn't believe it.

However, if you asked that same group of 300 people to raise their hand if they thought they were perfect, again, not a single hand would go up. So, how do we reconcile these two commonly accepted truths, 1) we aren't perfect AND 2) as far as we know, we don't believe anything that is wrong?

The implication is this: Though I can't pinpoint it exactly, my humanity dictates that I must be categorically wrong in some area or another of my theology/belief system.

When I was a data entry clerk, I entered thousands and thousands of keystrokes into a computer. Common sense tells me that, though I didn't know it at the time, I MUST have made a few mistakes while typing. It's like that with our theology. Our humanity guarantees that we've made a mistake, we just don't know where.

Maybe our source was wrong, maybe we aren't coming at it from the right perspective, maybe we've misinterpreted a passage, maybe their is a textual variant, maybe our presuppositions are getting in the way, maybe we're thinking with wrong categories, maybe there is still more information to be discovered, maybe, maybe, maybe. How are we supposed to build a theology on a bunch of "maybes"?
Part two of this series will look at four possible responses to this dilemma - Uncertainty, Humility, Openness, and Conversation


  1. Jason,

    "You got skills...writin' skills." I appreciate this post. I am not sure if our humanity guarantees mistakes. I am not sure that "To err is human" is exactly true. Maybe it is more accurate to say that our fallen humanity/our depravity guarantees mistakes.

    Thanks, Jay

  2. Jay,

    That's a good point. Since we pre-fall, all that God was was "good" - it would seem that there is nothing inherently wrong with being "human". It is our depravity that is the problem.