Archive for September 4th, 2007

Take a man who espouses the absolute orthodox doctrines of sound Biblical teaching. He crosses every fundamental “T” and dots every “i’ and his doctrinal resume is impeccable. He contends for the faith and he battles against the flood of Biblical alteration that is part of the evangelical landscape today. He quotes all the dead and living preachers necessary to show yourself approved before man and God, and he stands fast on his beliefs.

Then there is a man who is somewhat less than learned in the mainstream doctrinal issues, but he believes and follows Jesus Christ and his life was radically changed years ago by the Lord Jesus. Now he is somewhat emergent in his views, but he still holds to the central doctrines of the Person of Christ and salvation by grace through faith, but his methodology is suspect and his dialogue is very expansive, including a reconsideration of some subjects that many consider settled long ago.

OK, I present these two caricatures because I would like to ask a question out loud that I have thought inside my own heart. Why is it that sometimes the life of the stalwart orthodox believer who by many standards holds closer to the truths of the Scriptures, doesn’t shine noticeably brighter than the other man’s life who is more liberal? Why is it sometimes the more doctrinally malleable believer is more loving, more forgiving, more merciful, and many times reflects Jesus in a more tangible way than some of the more doctrinally ”sound” believers?

To put it more plainly, how can a man or woman who claims to have a greater hold on God’s truth be so unlike Jesus, and the man who has some questionable beliefs exhibit the life of Christ in a more obvious way both to other believers and the world at large? Is it possible that there are doctrinal truths that are just as important that are being neglected to the detriment of actually living Jesus to a lost and dying world? Can we espouse doctrines as just words, even though true, without allowing the Spirit of God to manifest Jesus in our visible lives?

And why will some claim that the things I am asking in this post sound emergent and not orthodox?

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