Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Effective Questioning

Well, do I start with something controversial right off the bat or slowly ease into this whole blogging thing. I think I'll slowly ease by telling you I have a tendency to question things. I think this partly stems from the church I attended while growing up. The pastor there always encouraged the congregation to check to see if what he was saying was true. But he didn't want just our opinions, mind you, he wanted chapter and verse, too. I don't think many pastors have the guts to do that, but he did, and I've always appreciated that upbringing.

Because of this, whenever I listen to a sermon or read a book, etc..., I always double-check the Bible passages and cross-references being used. Some may say I'm being overly critical, but I hope anybody reading my blog will do the very same for me.

Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another (Prov 27:17).

I believe we also need to be careful not to automatically impose the traditional interpretations we've received from others into Scripture. Then it becomes all too easy to transfer the authority of Scripture to our traditional interpretations. And because traditions are reshaped as they are passed on, after a while we may drift far from God's Word while still insisting our theological opinions are "biblical" and true.

All of this is Scripturally supported as well. For example, look at the Bereans in Act 17:10-12:

The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.

...and then there's I Thes 5:21:

But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

...and 2 Tim 2:15:

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

I really don't mean to be, but I'm probably every pastor's worst nightmare.

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