How seriously do you take the trinity? Jesus prayed for us, “that they may be one, even as we [the Father and Son] are one” (John 17:11). If we take the doctrine of the trinity and the eternal, intimate relationship between the Father and Son seriously—then we should take seriously Jesus’ call to unity.
Pick an issue, and Christians will divide on it. Theological, social, musical, sartorial… the range of options for anger and division is endless!
Why is it that arguments among Christians are often more acrimonious than those between believers and unbelievers? I think we tend to focus on what divides us more than on what unites us. Anyone who disagrees with us are the “bad-guys.”
But when we see the urgency of Jesus’ command to represent him to a watching, dying world, these differences don’t seem to matter as much. What unites us—Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Great Commission—is so much greater than what divides us. People on an urgent mission don’t stop to argue about minor issues (they may argue about them, but they keep on walking forwards!).
I have been working for the past year for a non-profit “think tank” of sorts whose aim is to dispel the myth that science and religion are in conflict. Ironically, we not only have to deal with the militant atheists like Dawkins, we also have to challenge Christians who perpetuate this “conflict myth.” British Christians often shake their heads in bemused disbelief at American Christians’ heated debates regarding Creation/Evolution. Part of my job has been to trawl through the websites of various proponents of Young Earth Creation, Progressive Creation, Intelligent Design, and Theistic Evolution (Evolutionary Creationism). It’s exhausting.
I don’t mind people holding their views in good conscience. I appreciate a good, earnest debate. What I hate are the “forums” and comment pages where people turn these secondary issues into primary, gospel issues. They descend into personal insults and straw man arguments. They adopt a tone that they would probably never use to a person’s face (well, let’s hope not).
I have appreciated being part of this “community blog.” Though I myself am convinced of male headship in the family and in church eldership, I am glad that Emily has invited me to be part of this blog—and, I have been happy to see, by God’s grace, that most of the posts on the “women issue” have been marked by graciousness and humility. It’s so important for those of us who have different views to understand one another, and to serve the Savior we love together. We all hold our views because we think they’re right—but that doesn’t mean we have to vilify “the Other.” It’s important—whether we are questioning origins or the roles of women and men—to know that people who genuinely love Jesus and the Bible can still disagree.
The words of my biology professor at Wheaton have stuck with me to this day: she said, “Jesus is not going to be standing at the gates of heaven with a clipboard in his hand, asking, ‘Did you believe in 6-day creation? Did you believe in Theistic Evolution?’ [or, “Did you believe in infant baptism? Did you ordain women elders? Were you an Arminian or a Calvinist?”] The one question that matters is, ‘Did you believe in ME?’”
Know any homeschoolers? I’ve just published a course for homeschooled teens on issues of science and Christianity, called Test of FAITH: An Introductory Course for Homeschoolers. The free PDF’s are available for download here: www.testoffaith.com/homeschool
If you are interested in science and Christianity generally, check out the Test of FAITH website at: www.testoffaith.com