Tuesday, April 13, 2010
(to be fair it's a pretty typical tone for us younger people). Then I was just reading some stuff on John Piper's blog. Apparently he has invited Rick Warren to speak at his conference and people are going off the handle saying all sorts of crazy stuff about both Piper and Warren's beliefs. I have been in a History of Christianity class, and there was this whole period of time when the church was so consumed with theological controversies that they forgot about the poor around them. People became marginalized and exploited. Then in one of the far off corners of the world where there was this mix of Judaism, Christianity, and tribal religions, this man had a vision and Islam rose to great prominence. In my reading of History I have become convinced that one of the great attractions of Islam was that it didn't have the theological baggage of Christianity. I am a little concerned that Christianity as a whole is losing a lot of credibility with the incredible divisiveness and tone of our current theological debates. It seems that our current point in history is very similar to this point of Church history. I am all for theological debate. I totally think that we need to have strong theological beliefs. I realize that perhaps at the moment Brian McLaren is not the best person to use to make my point (Especially since his newest book has come out), but I encourage people to pick up Generous Orthodoxy and read the first chapter. The reality is that the church is incredibly diverse. Reformed theological beliefs are absolute miles away from my Anabaptist beliefs but I will never say that John Piper is not a Christian, or even a false teacher. What I am trying to say is this: Have your theological convictions, hold on to them, but lets watch the tone we use, and be very slow to cast any final judgments. As a side note. If I can be like anyone in the current theological debates it is like Dan Kimball. I don't know a lot about him, but I love reading his blog, but most of all I love the tone that he has. He is one of the best voices for loving dialogue and careful theological thinking currently out there.