Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


On Palm Sunday, while teaching at Journey, I said this in one of the services:

“If you have God nicely in your theological box, 
I’d be scared of your box.”
I’ve been really bugged by this lately: The idea that we know God so well that we can tell you without a doubt who God is and exactly how God works.

To this end, there is this recent resurgence in the church to call one another heretics.  I’m not sure why people get such a big kick out of it, but there is nonetheless a pattern in the church world- particularly those who deem themselves as the protectors of all things evangelical- to call those who don’t fit in their box heretics.

I guess my biggest problem with calling someone else a heretic is not just the flippant nature or the arrogance that it is often said with, but more troubling for me is the foundational idea that their beliefs are the epicenter of orthodoxy.

So to this end, I’ve been thinking about this and here’s what I’ve concluded so far.

NOTHING IS SO SACRED IT CAN’T BE QUESTIONED.  I believe in the sacred.  I just don’t believe that when passing the sacred on, that it can be merely proclaimed as such and then be assumed to be owned by those to whom it has been “passed onto”. I could go so far as to say that I think the more sacred something is the more it should be questioned so that it can be constantly reaffirmed as sacred indeed.  Declaring the Bible or the marriage bond or some doctrine sacred does not make it so.  If the sacred cannot stand up to scrutiny, perhaps what we have is more traditional than foundational.

DECLARING EVERYTHING A MYSTERY IS A THEOLOGICAL COPOUT.   One nagging reason why some have decided the box of belief needs to have very rigid and not flexible walls is a reaction to those who refuse to even give their box corners.  A little humility without apathy would do us all some good.  The truth is, that when nothing is sacred, everything becomes sacred. When nothing is solid, everything becomes subjective and wishy washy.  I don’t hold to a lot with a theological certitude, but when we hold nothing and declare all conclusions equally mysterious we only sound ridiculously ambiguous.

THE LONGER A DOCTRINE STATEMENT, THE MORE IT’S PROBABLY GOT WRONG.   My favorite doctrine statement so far is one I’ve heard numerous times in one of my seminary classes.  Here you go.  It’s 3 words long: “Jesus was right.”  Ha!!! I love it.  Go ahead, print it on t-shirts for your elder board.  What a great doctrine statement.  What a great discussion starter.  It obviously begs the question “About what?”  And then you’re off to the races questioning stuff and finding stuff jesus nailed down.  You know that’s gonna be a series in our student ministries soon. 🙂


  1. the timeliness of this post (for me) is uncanny.

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