Wednesday, December 10, 2008

so much for sound doctrine

Far from any individual's theology being The Right One, in one sense all theologies are heresies. For theologies, like heresies, are major or minor distortions of the truth.

We know in part and we prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
(I Corinthians 13:9-10)

In other words, what you believe may be correct, but is certainly not completely correct. The point? We must always be open to further insights that will give us fuller understanding of what God is all about.
Tony Campolo, Adventures in Mission the Point, p. 32

And, since this book is a tag team between Campolo and McLaren, of course McLaren likes Campolo's twist of phrase.

I love Tony's statement that "in one sense all theologies are heresies".
McLaren, p. 39

First, let's look at the passage Campolo points to as proof for his "in one sense all theologies are heresies" idea.

I Corinthians 13

8. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

9. For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

10. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part will be done away.

So, can this be said to mean that "in one sense all theologies are heresies"? Where?

What else does Scripture say about doctrines?

Titus 1:9
He (an elder) must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine, and refute those who oppose it.

You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.

I Timothy 4:16
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

I Timothy 1
8. We know that the law is good if one uses it properly.

9. We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers,

10. for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers--and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine

11. that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

Paul has something to say to the issue of heresies.

Galatians 1
6. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--

7. which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

8. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other thant heone we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

9. As we ahve already said, so now I say again: if anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

I Timothy 4:1
1. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:

2. Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.

3. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

4. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

It is not surprising that an emergent should 'love' the statement that "in one sense all theologies are heresies". Anything that would support their relativistic delusions is something for them to embrace. Anything they can grab on to to support lie they believe that sound doctrine is unnecessary and even dangerous is poison they will flock to.

Because if "in one sense all theologies are heresies", then it is only a short step to saying that there really aren't really any heresies at all.

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