Tuesday, December 15, 2009
...I have come to believe that theological perfectionism is another problem we should be concerned about, especially we who are Reformed.I think that Lee Irons and I might have pretty different points about what it is and is not important to "get right" but I think we agree on the basics here. Legalism and idolatry are closely related, and that both are a reflection of our egos, not God's will.
I recall when I was in seminary (Westminster Seminary California, 1992-96) that many of the young men used to sit around and debate the fine points of Van Tillian presuppositional apologetics for hours. They would be incredibly critical of any other form of apologetics, even other Reformed apologists like Francis Schaeffer or R. C. Sproul. The interesting thing was that it was a debate about the theory of apologetics. But the time and effort spent on getting the theory right was not matched by an equal zeal to actually use the theory in evangelizing unbelievers. Why? Because they were more interested (and I am guilty of this myself) of being right than in seeing sinners come to Christ. In other words, theological perfectionism had become an idol, whether it was the baser idol of wanting to look smart in the eyes of other seminary students, or the more refined idol of craving philosophical certainty about Christianity rather than having child-like trust in Christ. (Again, I'm not accusing others without pleading guilty myself -- I've been guilty of both the base and the refined idols!) [emphasis added]
There is but a single assumption that ends this - the understanding that no matter how hard we study, write, read, think - we are wrong - somewhere, somehow - we are wrong. It is the nature of being human and flawed.
"...they were more interested (and I am guilty of this myself) of being right than...." Jesus is the only person every that was right all the time. We can become right all the time only by allowing Him to work in us and through us. And that begins by laying down ourselves, and our ideas.