Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Resolutions Worthy of Prayer for 2006

From a praying pastor . . . I resolve in 2006 to do the following:

•To listen to other parts of the Christian tradition, which come to me through books and friends, with more care and a far deeper willingness to learn all that I can from every Christian source.
•To never assume that I have found the whole truth, as if one ever finds the whole truth, in any human system of thought, be it that of Aquinas, Luther, Calvin or Augustine. (You can fill in the blank with your favorite theologian!)
•To realize afresh that Jesus is the truth and that even though Scripture faithfully bears witness to Jesus no theological system, or single part of the whole Christian tradition, is the final word on how we understand what God has chosen to reveal to us in this present age.
•To use my mind more intentionally, as Matthew 22:37 clearly teaches me, to love the Lord, and then my neighbor, above all else. This means that I must always seek to turn my theological ruminations and discussions into an intentional doxology of devoted and sacrificial love.
•To love my friends, and to pray for my enemies, regardless of the theological issue(s) that we disagree about. I can learn more from honest disagreements than I may ever know this side of glory, thus I will seek to understand what a person is really saying and not stereotype it falsely, as I did in 1982 when I first read my friend’s letter.

Henry Van Dyke once concluded:
The plague of Christendom has been the passion of theology to define what God has not defined and to discover what he has kept secret.

I resolve, at the beginning of 2006, to spend far more time, in public and in private, seeking to understand and explain what God has more clearly revealed and less and less time explaining the mysteries, and the problematic texts, too intently and dogmatically. I am aware that controversy sells books, builds ministries like the one that I lead, and attracts many followers, but I resolve before God and man to put such controversies aside wherever possible for the greater good of knowing Christ and loving his people. May God help me.

John Armstrong
ACT 3 @ act3weekly@reformationrevival.com

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