J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

The L Y Life – How To Love and Fight

I used to have this truth meter and if I was speaking with someone and I heard them say something I disagreed with biblically, I would pounce.  Essentially, if I couldn’t change their mind with a quick, slightly sharp response, it was go time for a theological debate.

There were times that I shamed the name of Christ in this and lost several friends this way.

Now, when faced with theological error, I have a couple of questions I ask myself.  I think when should I address this topic and how should I address this topic?  Not every biblical disagreement has to be addressed at the moment.  So I encourage you to ask these questions:

Is their biblical error causing them harm in their day to day life?

If it is, then address it immediately.  For instance, if I’m sitting at the coffee shop and someone tells me that they live in constant fear because they are afraid that God is going to take their salvation from them and send them to hell.  I think that is pretty important as their misunderstanding of the secure work of Jesus Christ is causing them day to day anguish.

The next question is how to address it.

Typically I ask folks why they feel the way they do, and in this case, I would ask them what scriptures have informed their opinion?  When they tell me, and this kicker, I ask them if it is okay if I gave them a few other scriptures to consider.  Then we can have a peaceful exchange about something in which we disagree.  But not every theological issue needs to be addressed at the moment.  Typically issues like the people’s view of the end times, whether King Saul was saved, how Samson tied 100 fox tails together, and a host of other topics, really can wait.

We should always humbly ask if we should contribute our view on issues before engaging.  This is an act of love.  The overarching principle that we need to consider is this:

Does their supposed theological error lead them to sin or to despair?

If it does, then we should gently walk in those discussions remembering that we both can’t be right but we both can be wrong.  God and His scriptures alone is true.

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March 4, 2010 Posted by | mission, missional, the ly life, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sovereign King Service Preview for 02/21/10

If you have ever been involved in a theological discussion or even a conversation about the interpretation of a particular passage of scripture, you have probably wished that God had given a guideline or instructional manual about how to do so without getting into a big fight.  I guess if God had given us those things then people would fight about what the instructional manual meant.

All joking aside, God really has taught us how to discuss the interpretation and application of scripture.  We mention these things all the time.

  • Philippians 2:3 – Consider others better than yourself.
  • Romans 12:16 – Never be wise in your own eyes.

Application of those two principles would more than likely eliminate the majority of theological and interpretative debates or at least change the volume of them.  These guidelines don’t cover every possible area of contention, but they do help us figure out how to have a discussion.  The larger picture about theological debate or scriptural discussion is creating a community of peace, even when we disagree.

Fortunately, Paul is going to take this discussion up for us in Romans chapter 14, so in light of what we just spoke of, we are going to ask this Big Picture Question at Sovereign King this week.

Big Picture Question:  What guidelines does God give so that the church might be at peace?

If you would like to join us at Sovereign King this Sunday, we meet for worship at 10:30am, and you can find directions to our space at http://www.sovereignkingpca.net/1.2.html

February 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment