I’ve noticed a really strange trend in popular Christianity. Many people will say that people who hold to certain interpretations of things like Genesis, Revelation, free will/irresistable grace are crazy/nuts/dumb/heretics or at the very least incredibly dangerous to the faith.
BUT THEN, I see these same people quote and laud and applaud popular teachers such as Keller, Piper, C.S. Lewis, or Ravi Zacharias and more about how great they are not knowing that these guys would hold to many of those positions that were deemed to be just awful by the lauder. I bet a lot people would be utterly shocked to know what John Piper’s position on dispensationalism is or what Tim Keller’s beliefs about Genesis 1 and 2 are.
Here’s a clue about Keller: A certain man who is currently building an ark says that people who believe what Tim Keller believes are “more dangerous than atheists” and that they don’t take the authority of scripture seriously. Same for Ravi Zacharias. Christians, does it seem to you that Tim Keller and Ravi Zacharias don’t take the Bible seriously? Now, Keller and Zacharias those two would probably agree on Genesis and Revelation but disagree on if people have libertarian freedom in accepting Christ/ why evil exits. How about that?! BTW, I mentioned these two because I love reading and learning from both of them.
Why am I writing this? Because we need to be a little more gracious and willing to LISTEN to views contrary to our own. How can you be confident in your position if you’ve never considered the opposition? I’m not saying you’ll always change your mind at all, but beware of throwing out words like “heretic” loosely.
My best friend/best man in my wedding and I disagree about a lot of stuff. But you know what? We were able to listen to each other’s arguments and understand that there is a real desire to dig in to the word and do our best to seek out the truth in areas in which we disagree. In other things, it seems pretty obvious and we stand 100% together. This isn’t to say there is no such thing as heresy.
Look, all I’m saying is that before you’re going to pass judgment on some method of interpretation, ask yourself this: “Have I honestly tried to understand the opposing views on their own terms and have I truly considered the weaknesses of my own position?”