Theological Entrenchment: Righter than Thou
If I went to school to study mathematics, I’d (hopefully) be receiving the same education wherever I went. Maybe I’d study different techniques, but they should lead me to the same sums. It’s been said that mathematics is the universal language. Why isn’t faith?
As a Calvin student, am I going to get the same education that I receive from Olivet? If I attend Bob Jones University, will I come away with the same perspective I’d get from Fuller? It’s interesting that we’re often being educated away from speaking a common language and toward theological entrenchment.
People go to a variety of different Christian schools and come out believing dramatically different things. The interesting thing is they also believe that their perspective is the most biblically accurate.
Imagine theological understanding as a “test your strength” carnival game. If ringing the bell equates to being 100% correct in all your theology, how high do you have to hit the counter weight to go to heaven? How high do you have to hit the counter weight to commune with Christ? 100%? 80%? 20%?
Now here’s the big question: How well do you think that you do on the theological “test your strength” game? Historically speaking, the people who’d mark themselves the highest have done the most damage. In my own life, the people who’d score themselves the highest are often the most insufferable.
Here are some questions that come to mind when I think through this issue:
How many of my beliefs are culturally and paternally influenced?
Is it possible to believe something and not feel threatened by people who believe differently?
If I’m wrong about something, how likely is it that I’d hear and accept a contrary interpretation?
If we’ve accepted something wrong culturally and biblically in the past (slavery), how likely is it that we’re wrong in areas now?
Please leave me a comment and share your thoughts!