Justin Taylor recently linked to Kirk Wellum's (who eaches systematic theology and biblical studies at Toronto Baptist Seminary) five exhortations for the Young, Restless, and Reformed crowd.
Since I commented on Hansen's book of that title, I thought this would be a wise follow up. Here are the exhortations, but following the link will give further explanation.
1. Those who are young, restless and reformed must not become too self-conscious.
2. We (and I include myself in all of these things) must avoid a triumphalistic attitude.
3. We must put our hope in God and not in our theological systems.
4. With regard to the way we structure our churches we need to give people some breathing room.
5. We need to work and pray when it comes to evangelism.
Amen. I was thinking this morning about the way that preoccupation with Reformed doctrine can sometimes distract people (myself included) from the more important realities of God's glory and the Gospel. The best analogy I could come up with is that it Reformed doctrine is like a set of glasses. Using a pair of glasses allows us to see the landscape better and appreciate details that were only blurry before, letting us appreciate more fully the beauty of the scene. Likewise, Reformed doctrine (in my opinion) allows us to see God more clearly and appreciate his glory more fully. The problem comes when we become so enamored with the glasses themselves that we lose sight of the landscape, and spend more time thinking and praising the glasses than we do the landscape in front of us. At bottom, such preoccupation can become another form of idolatry. (The analogy is of course imperfect, because doctrine is truth about God so it stands in different relation to him than glasses do to a landscape. But I think the point still stands.)
I followed the link. That was a well-written post. The exhortations are all true, but hardly need to be limited to the Reformed. Any movement, system, or tradition should keep these things in mind--as well as individuals like myself!
Andrew, I found your analogy amusing: I'm picturing a kid playing with a pair a spectacles. :-) I think the analogy works, though.
I like your analogy andrew, i have many questions in regard to this topic of expressing thoughts and feeling regarding ones theology.
I agree Tim. I have been thinking a lot recently as well about the best way to express one's individual theology in a theologically pluralistic (diverse) church culture.
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