The best way to respond to Theological Fallibility, is not blanket uncertainty, or passive humility, or perpetual openness. The best way to respond to Theological Fallibility is, conversation.
I mentioned in my last post that the response of conversation is a sort of "modified openness". To me, the risk of openness is that it lacks a solid foundation. However, the risk of being close-minded is that it leaves the foundation unexamined for large periods of time. Allow me to use an analogy.
I recently purchased a house (actually, the bank purchased a house, and I am now their slave for 30 years). Obviously, my house has a foundation. It's a solid stone/brick foundation with no major cracks, and it passed inspection with flying colors. The foundation of my house is completely sealed off except for a small access door on the south side of the house. Now, I would be an IDIOT if I said to myself, "I've got a good foundation, it's passed inspection, and I don't see any problems, so, I think I'll seal off the access door." Imagine what would happen to my home if I was unable to access the underbelly of my home for 30 years! What a tragedy!
Even though I'm glad my house has a solid foundation, I've already been down there to check things out a half-dozen times since we moved in. Why? Because good houses need maintenance. I know that the "fallibility" of a home requires constant action on my part.
Do you see the connection between houses and Theology? Someone who is perpetually open minded shoots themselves in the foot because they refuse to build a solid foundation on which they may build a house. Someone who is close minded is like the person who seals off the access door to the foundation of their house, thus leaving their foundation to rot. The position of conversation tries to build a foundation (and a good one too), but leaves an access door. This person is willing to go down with a flashlight and perform maintenance on their foundation. Make no mistake, this person has a foundation, they just know that the harsh reality of life requires constant tweaking and improving.
Part Six of this series will look at the practical outworking of a person who responds to Theological Fallibility with "conversation".