When ‘Theology’ Gets in the Way
By Dan Kimball
I am not someone who cries often, but lately I have found myself emotionally moved to the point of tears several times.
What is causing such a strong emotional reaction? The rhetoric and tone some evangelical Christians use when they differ with other evangelicals on theology or ministry methodology. I am not talking about major doctrines of historical orthodoxy. When such foundational teachings are compromised, we are instructed to defend the faith, teach correction, guard doctrine (1 Tim. 4:16). I also love robust arguments and fun discussions about our differences as evangelicals.
The theological disputes that grieve me and cause me to feel ashamed of us are when evangelicals engage in destructive arguments over Calvinism or Arminianism. Or whether one interprets Genesis to believe the earth was created in a literal six-day time period or over billions of years. Or when we dispute methodology: Do we advocate for the megachurch with plenty of paid staff or an organic church staffed almost exclusively with volunteers? Do we use traditional liturgy or contemporary pop and rock music? Do we preach topically or verse by verse?
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No Time for Discord
The consistent stream of negativity, the critical tone, and the time and energy spent pointing out why one is wrong and the other is right is something I believe one day we may look back on and be ashamed about. We aren’t living in a time when we have the liberty to fight like this. If there is a time in American history when we need to be linking arms, supporting one another, defending other evangelicals who may have differing theological or methodological views within historical orthodoxy, this is that time…
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