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Doctrine in dialogue format
Ask the Theologian
"My Pleasure Mr Nullifidian."
"The topic of discussion tonight is by what means one in your profession discerns truth in the Bible. That is to say, how do you separate true doctrine from false? Since there are so many versions of what the Bible says, I assume many different systems are used."
"Of course I can only speak for myself Mr Nullifidian and perhaps a few of my colleagues, but I would say, if pressed, that the most common method we have to find truth is that of logic."
"Logic Doctor Indubitable? I find that surprising since it seems to me the entire Bible is based upon faith, which in my mind is the antithesis of logic."
"It is Mr Nullifidian, but at the same time the Bible is not an abstract theory that can be interpreted any way we please. In order to understand the Word of God, we must be in tune with the thinking of God. We, being in the image of God have been instilled with a capacity to utilize logic. We see that all creation is based upon logic. This is proof that God uses logic in His dealings with His creation. Therefore, in order to understand what God means, we must stay focused on our sense of logic."
"I think I understand what you're saying Doctor Indubitable, however, since it's necessary to use our logic in order to understand the Bible, how is it that so many people, all using their God-given capacity of logic, have come up with so many different conclusions?"
"It's not our logic that causes these conflicting views Mr Nullifidian, it's our filters through which we view what is logical."
"Filters Doctor Indubitable? Please elucidate if you will."
"It's simply a matter of our heritage, our personal experience, our education and our individual desires Mr Nullifidian. Let me give you some examples by which to better understand my meaning. We all have our own set of filters given to us by our parents, by our instructors, by our society, and by our government. There are many other sources of filters as well, but these will suffice for the moment. Filters are the attitudes we form toward ourselves and others, as well as every aspect of our life. If our attitudes do not conform with those of our family, friends, government and the like, we are considered different, and very possibly an outcast. In times past, and still in other countries, those people who choose not to conform to the thinking of those around them are castigated, imprisoned, and even executed. These are strong motives to conform our will and our altitudes with that of the society in which we live."
"I can see how our society has an influence Doctor Indubitable, but isn't someone in your position, that is one who is interpreting the Word of God, supposed to be above such confining filters? After all, thousands, and perhaps millions of people are depending on you to tell them the way by which they should live. If you are influenced by your filters, what does that say about the conclusions you publish?"
"Indeed we should look beyond our filters Mr Nullifidian. And not just the theologian, but you, the public, as well. Keep in mind that in spite of my, or any other scholar's opinion, it is you who has to stand or fall due to your own decision. I research and publish what I find in the Bible. You have a radio program where you further announce my own, those of others, and your own opinions. The man on the street influences his family and his friends toward their own brand of filtered views. I stand or fall according to my decisions and my actions because of those decisions. But a penny stolen is the same as a million dollars in the eyes of the law, and in the eyes of God. If you choose to follow me, and we discover I have been wrong, you can not count your wrong as right because of your choice to follow me. Does that make sense Mr Nullifidian?"
"I believe it does Doctor Indubitable. However, I must correct you on one misgiving. I do not follow you are anyone else. I am inclined to be a skeptic, a nonconformist. I go my own way, and I use no filters in my decision-making process."
"I beg to differ with you Mr Nullifidian. By assuming that you employ no filters you are in the greatest danger of falling into error. We find our way by first realizing that we are lost. We find knowledge by first realizing that we are ignorant. We find light by first recognizing that we stand in darkness. When you say you go your own way and you're in the light of truth, you wear blinders that all the world might be able to see on you, but you yourself are blind to. This was the sin of the Pharisee. To them their blinders of tradition were telescopes of truth rather than the blindfold they actually were."
"You make a good point Doctor Indubitable. But I believe you made a better point when you said that I must stand or fall according to my own decisions. At least my failings are my own, and not those of another that I've taken on because I was too lazy, or too unbelieving to find the way myself. I would much rather stand before the Judgment seat and have to take responsibility for myself, than to think I can rely on my poor judgement of following you, or anyone else into the ditch you might be digging."
"Indeed Mr Nullifidian."
"Well, our time is gone, but I do thank you for being our guest this evening on ask your theologian. Unfortunately we became so engrossed on the topic of filters we were unable to let any of the callers join in to the discussion. Perhaps you will join us another day Doctor Indubitable?"
"I would be most happy to Mr Nullifidian."
"Then this is Pythagoras Nullifidian bidding you, Good day."
5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Prov 3:)
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