While all of these theologians of the past held to Christian orthodoxy, they also believed things that are considered controversial and just plain wrong by many Christians today.
So the point is obvious as it is profound. If the great theologians of the past didn’t see everything clearly, then why do we demand that of one another now?
Here’s a quick list. For details and sources, scroll down to the bottom and click the link.
* C.S. Lewis believed in praying for the dead. He also believed in purgatory (which is rejected by most Protestants).
* Jonathan Edwards believed that owning slaves was NOT incompatible with the gospel. He also believed that the Pope was the Antichrist and that God hates sinners worst than you hate poison.
* John Wesley believed that Mary, mother of Jesus, was a perpetual virgin. He also believed in ghosts.
* John Calvin believed that executing heretics was justifiable. He also believed that the Old Testament capital offense system should still be observed.
* D.L. Moody embraced the leading evolutionist of his day, saying that he was one of the most Christ-like men he knew (this was highly controversial during his time, and many evangelicals will have trouble with it still).
* St. Augustine believed that the sole purpose of sex was procreation, thus sex – even in marriage – contained lust and was wrong. He also believed that Mary, mother of Jesus, was sinless.
* Martin Luther believed that Jewish people should be persecuted viciously. He also believed that the New Testament books of James, Hebrews, Jude and Revelation should be removed from the biblical canon.
* Charles Spurgeon was a liberal politically and he believed that one could smoke cigars for the glory of God.
So if you’re an evangelical who is also a C.S. Lewis fan or a John Calvin fan or a Martin Luther fan, etc. you should be more tolerant toward those Christians who hold to beliefs with which you disagree.
Why? Because all of those men held to some wrong views.
Point: We are all in process. We are all growing in our knowledge and understanding. No one, including you, gets it right all the time.
So tread with grace whenever you find yourself disagreeing with another believer over doctrine or an interpretation of a biblical text. And remember what Jesus said in Matthew 7:12: “Treat others the same way you want to be treated, for this fulfills the Law and the Prophets.”
In the Summer of 2019, I plan to release my book on the shocking beliefs of the great Christians. The main title is ReGrace.
To be notified when the book releases, GO HERE and make sure you confirm via email. So check your spam folders after you sign up.