Monday, January 12, 2015

Moving Past Theological Hearsay

In a court of law hearsay is barred. In theological circles hearsay is often enough to push any theologian or thinker's views off the table before they are even understood.

It is quite an ignorant trend emerging in theology where ideology of each theological camp presupposes what will be good or bad before the ideas are even heard. The second you mention this or that thinker's name the ideas are already falling on deaf ears.

A lot of it is quite arbitrary and non-sensible. You often find that included in the allowable thinkers are people who are more opposed to the ideology of the group and thinkers who are excluded from the ideology.

You see it is often simply a wild amount of hearsay which has no basis in reality. A prominent pastor had a teacher who they respected who did not like such and such thinker for an unknown reason and now the world becomes suspicious of the thinker. No one knows why the thinker is in question, but they are.

At some point there needs to be a re-questioning of why are all these things which "are just the case" but no one knows why. If a pastor cannot with any articulation explain why a thinker is wrong then he should not proclaim to the whole world that a thinker is in error because he knew someone many years ago who felt so.

It is as if pastors and theologians often hold up certain figures as unable to err. That favorite teacher was in the end always right and never wrong. Of course it is absurd, but it is how many pastors and theologians practically live and the consequences are rarely positive of such a lazy and thoughtless approach.

It is often better to answer "I do not know" to a question than to spout mindlessly what some respected sage thought might have been the case.

I feel certain highly respected thinkers in the current day have, despite their many gifts and blessings they have brought to the church, also damaged the church by failing to admit the limits of their knowledge. It is better to admit the limits of our knowledge rather than to take the easy route of pushing out hearsay in theology when we simply do not know.
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