I read on Dr. Reid's blog a statement from Knoll's book that I believe may well go down as one of the classic lines in Christian literature on how orthodox 19th Christians eventually made up their minds regarding the Bible's position on slavery. Noll wrote . . .
'It was left to the consummate theologians, the Reverend Doctors Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, to decide what in fact the Bible actually meant.'
This funny quote should cause all of us to at least pause - and be careful - before dogmatically asserting we fully comprehend the mind and ways of God. Sometimes I think the Lord allows His children to be embarrassed in order that we might remember that He is God and we are not.
Francis S. Collins, head of the Human Genome Project, is one of the world's leading scientists. He works at the cutting edge of the study of DNA, the code of life. Dr. Collins came to faith in Christ through reading the works of C.S. Lewis, and has recently written a book entitled 'The Language of God.' Though Francis is a proponent of evolution, he is unquestionably a believer in, and apologist for, a worldview that God is not only present, but actively at work. Though I am a creationist and disagree with Dr. Collins on evolution, I have enjoyed reading Collins book. Dr. Collins articulates well on page 93 the caution any theologian should have when it comes to dogmatism.
"Faced with incomplete understanding . . . believers should be cautious about invoking the divine in areas of current mystery, lest they build an unnecessary theological argument that is doomed to later destruction."
I wonder if dogmatism against women in ministry might one day be viewed the same as we now view Southern Baptists former dogmatism in defending slavery. I don't know. I'm just asking. It's one of the reasons I refuse to be dogmatic on my complementarian beliefs and will listen to my friends who are egalitarian.
This does not mean I doubt the Word of God. I fully trust God's Word. It means I fully comprehend my own fallibility in properly interpreting the Word of God. Let's dialogue about the issue. Let's debate the issue. Let's disagree over the issue. But we should never DIVIDE over the issue. There are far more important doctrines that UNITE us.
In His Grace,