Christians often engage in passionate arguments about theology. It seems as if the love that should be the earmark of a true Christian is missing from these arguments. Churches splinter as a result of doctrinal differences. Should Christians be so devoted to their theology?
Should Christians Argue About Theology?
Should Christians argue about theology and doctrine?
3 thoughts on “Should Christians Argue About Theology?”
Many self-styled evangelicals today are openly questioning whether such a thing as truth even exists. Others suppose that even if truth does exist, we can’t be sure what it is, so it can’t really matter much. This type of thinking is epidemic, even among some of the evangelical movement’s most popular authors and spokespersons. Some flatly refuse to stand for anything because they have decided that even Scripture isn’t really clear enough to argue about.
Except for the massive scale on which such thinking has attained popularity today, and the way it is seeping into the church, such ideas themselves are really nothing new or particularly shocking. It is exactly the same attitude with which Pilate summarily dismissed Christ: “What is truth?” (John 18:38)
Certain avant-garde evangelicals sometimes act as if the demise of certainty is a dramatic new intellectual development, rather than seeing it for what it actually is: an echo of the old unbelief. It is unbelief cloaked in a religious disguise and seeking legitimacy as if it were merely a humbler kind of faith. But it’s not faith at all. In reality, the contemporary refusal to regard any truth as sure and certain is the worst kind of infidelity.
The church’s duty has always been to confront such skepticism and answer it by clearly proclaiming the truth God has revealed in His Word. We have been given a clear message for the purpose of confronting the world’s unbelief. That is what we are called, commanded, and commissioned to do (1 Corinthians 1:17-31). Faithfulness to Christ demands it. The honor of God requires it. We cannot sit by and do nothing while worldly, revisionist, and skeptical attitudes about truth are infiltrating the church. We must not embrace such confusion in the name of charity, collegiality, or unity. We have to stand and fight for the truth–and be prepared to die for it–as faithful Christians always have.
This is a great article and a helpful reminder. Thanks!!
I appreciate the reminder of why the website exists. Truth exists in the person of Jesus Christ.
Contending for truth, and today for even the concept of truth, is part of who we are as followers of Christ. The means employed to contend for the truth is the challenge I find facing those who truly desire to follow Jesus. We do not want to contend for the truth in the same way we would if we were not in the truth. Stated another way, we as believers should not sound as American radio talk show hosts in contending for truth.
I have been distressed in the past at the way Christians attack those who disagree with them on matters of sometimes great and sometimes little consequence. The Erasmus-Luther debates of the 16th century on free will find their analog in the attack of some today. I do not find in such debates either the wisdom from above or any desire to follow the direct command of Paul to be meek and gentle in our correcting. Arguing for truth in a way that forsakes the God of truth seems self-defeating.
I realize that there are strong words by John the Baptist, by Jesus, and by Paul. But I see those words focused on those who stand outside the flock of Christ, pretend to be part of the flock, and proclaim a different way to God. For those within the flock, I do not find the same approach. Paul’s dealings with the Corinthians on the issue of tongues has a different tone than Paul’s dealings with the Judaizers in Galatians.
I also do not find much attention paid in Scripture to those who were not pretending to be in the flock. The dealings with the Samaritans and the followers of Diana are instructive.
Truth is foundational to Christianity. The site exists to contend for truth. The plea is that we do so with the admonition of Paul in our ears that His servants must not strive, but be gentle to all. Those who have ears to hear the truth will hear it in our words. Those who do not have ears attuned to hear truth will be right where they were in Christ’s day.
We appreciate your ministry and the ministry of many others who focus on truth. May our great God and Savior continue to strengthen His church so that we all may grow up in grace and truth, abounding in the works of our God.