Letters, We Get Letters

Dear Tony,

I’m currently reading through your book “The New Christians.” It is my first real introduction to the emerging movement from the perspective of an emergent.

Wow! It’s great!

A little of my background. I’m a Presbyterian raised lad, taught the ways of Calvin and co. My father is a Prezzy pastor a straight down the line conservative, though with a twist. I’ve completed an undergrad degree in philosophy and since changed to the Vineyard Church.

I’ll get straight to the point: what you’ve written about has put into words a lot of the stuff I’ve been thinking about over the past few years. So I guess I owe you a thanks.

Being the philosophy undergrad and all, I wanted to share with you an argument that I think buttresses your hermeneutic of humility (which I whole-heartedly agree with, having once been an arrogant young know-it-all type).

First, to your reasoning. You state in your book (I’m too lazy to reference it ) that many people in the theological landscape have changed their minds about theological issues such as slavery, so how, really, can we know that what we think about now is, in fact, God’s super-truth. True truth.  This is, I think, a powerful argument. Here’s mine.

I don’t think we even have to reference changes in theological beliefs over time to prove your point. I think we can simply look at the vast plethora of differing interpretations that exists now and stand in awe of the complexity of theology.

I compiled a list of “views” books, you know, like those Zondervan books that have four views on blah blah blah. My argument for a hermeneutic of humility would be:

If there are so many views argued so well, by godly, intelligent men, who all think they have the correct interpretation, doesn’t that imply a humility of sorts? And boy, do these guys argue well for their views! How the bleep, then, can one claim so dogmatically and with such over-arching certainty, that their view is the one!  Here’s my list:

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