Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The nature of truth and dealing with doctrinal differences

As mentioned previously, Tim Challies had linked to his reflections on a paragraph from Josh Harris' latest book Humble Orthodoxy. While Harris is most certainly not wrong in what he says, in that we should not take pride in being more doctrinally correct and use doctrines in a Pharisaical manner, yet such a scenario already betrays an even greater problem than merely having an individual who is being a "Pharisee" with regards to doctrine.

As I have written before on the nature of truth, the New Calvinist model of truth is anthropocentric in its nature. The only thing that I would like to add here is that this is not just the nature of truth the New Calvinists work with, but it is basically the modern view of truth that comes forth from the Enlightenment. As we think about truth, we ask ourselves, why would someone take pride and lord it over others over being more doctrinally correct? Doesn't it arises from seeing truth as an intellectual achievement, and knowing as work? But who gets to define what is the nature of biblical truth? If we see it in the way the Enlightenment sees it, that truth is what we truly gain in perception of reality, then it is no surprise that taking pride in one's doctrinal precision is natural. But if one sees truth from God's viewpoint as His revelation to us, not on our gaining and increasing our perception of who God is, then one will conduct himself differently.

Perhaps, instead of learning doctrines as how we learn math and science, we need to re-orient our understanding of the learning process itself. And instead of seeing those who strongly promote right doctrine as Pharisees, perhaps we should see them as those desiring the glory of God in right belief and right practice.

1 comment:

PuritanReformed said...

From a friend:

One such prayer: "God, I thank you that I am not like these hateful pharisees and legalists who like to quarrel over words."