19 October 2006

It Takes All Kinds

"It takes all kinds". This phrase has just popped out of the neather regions of my memory. It's a phrase that, for some reason, my friends and I said a lot back in High School in the 1970s.

For the last five or six years, I've become more and more convinced that both the "liberal" end of the Christian church (whatever that term means) and the "conservative" end of the Christian church (whatever that term means) need each other.

Yesterday, I was doing some of reading pertinent to my "continued theological education" when I came across the following thought on Wisdom. Wisdom, the author said, can either be acquired by accepting revelation or by an arduous process of discovery.

In discussing theology on the internet for the last six years, it seems to me that some people really need to question (arduous process of discovery) and some people are much better off and more comfortable simply accepting revealed truth. It seems to me, though, that these are two sides of the same coin.

I believe that the Christian church really does need congregations and traditions where the main approach to God is obedient acceptance of revelation (which most certainly does not have to be unthinking or naive). And we need other congregations that can accommodate those people who can't help but question God and tradition.

It seems to me that the current agitation for splitting into theological camps is unhelpful because when we decide to associate only with those people who agree with us, we lose the practice of and the experience of listening to those who we disagree with and lost the experience of learning to respect them.

There is much about being a person of faith that is about apprenticeship. We all need to practice learning how to respect people with whom we disagree.

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