Monday, January 16, 2012

The Slightly Different Angle

I have the distinct honor of being part of the Worldview Everlasting Team where I get to help answer questions that Pastor Fisk doesn't address in his Ask the Pastor Videos. I like it, it's a good collaborative process -- and if there are questions that don't really interest me... I get to ignore them and let someone else take them. It's very nice.

But what I enjoy most is when a couple of us write up answers to the same question. This is where it becomes interesting - I write my answer, and then I see someone tackle the same question from a slightly different angle.

The slightly different angle is one of the most wondrous things in theology.

We aren't talking heresy, we aren't talking false doctrine - but we are just talking about coming to and pointing at the truth from a slightly different angle, a different approach.

There are wonderful nuances in theology. This would be obvious if we compared sermons. Pastor Hall and I both use the 1 year lectionary - and while our sermons would preach the same truth, the nuances, the approaches, the things we emphasize would be slightly different (he doesn't post his sermons on his blog). If one went to his 8 am service and then my 10:45, it would be a neat, stereo or 3D view of the text.

The image I have liked for this is this: consider you hired two artists to paint pictures of your Church. And let us say that one artist loves the color blue, loves blue overtones. And then let us say that the other artist loves pulling out depth via shadows. Two artists, painting the same Church, but you would have two very different paintings. Both true paintings, but each emphasizing and pulling out something different.

The great danger for any Christian is to think, "I know this. I know this text, I know this doctrine, I have studied my catechism and thus I know what this means." You may, but you know it and are used to seeing it simply from your angle. Seek out other good theologians and thinkers, others who are faithful, and learn from their approach. That is a wondrous thing.

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