5 (More) Ways Pastors Can Shepherd People Through Discussions About Faith and Science

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://biologos.org/blogs/guest/5-more-ways-pastors-can-shepherd-people-through-discussions-about-faith-and-science

This is something used by the world on Christians. It’s all about LOVE, and if you are not walking in acceptance of everyone and everything then you are wrong, because Jesus Christ loved. Question remains. What is the biblical definition of love?

In this topic, it’s all about walking in grace and humbleness. So, if you are a person who has a zeal for the TRUTH for God’s word, then you are not in grace nor are you humble, but divisive, dogmatic. The same tactic is being used in the world as it is in the church. The truth has taken a backseat to love, grace, humble etc…

This same tactic can be used against Christians by other Christians, just pick the topic; abortion, gay marriage etc… Once we get to the point where the church puts scripture in the backseat and love becomes the focal point. Liberalism will make its way into the church and Christianity will die in America, as we have seen in Europe.

I’m guessing that you and most here would agree that once truth has been pitted against love, or love against scripture, or against humility, etc. etc. that this is already a sure sign of trouble that had long ago come to roost. Do you have any insight or vision as to how all these things should exist together in the Christian life?

1 Corinthians 13:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I think that before we get worked up about issues such as the age of the earth or who did or didn’t evolve from what, we should also remember 1 Corinthians 8:1-3:

Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God.

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Great question!

My contention is not whether these things can co-exist in the Christian life, because they can. My contention is with the writer who has put a heavy emphasis on grace and humbleness in his article. It is simply not a balanced view, and certainly not fair to those who not only want to know the truth, but to shout it from the rooftops.

But knowledge puffs up while love builds up

I am referring to alētheuontes; not gnōsin

(Ephesians 4:15) (ESV)
15 Rather, speaking the TRUTH in LOVE, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

I believe that is the best balanced approach in my Christian walk, when sharing my faith or informing a fellow believer of his or her doctrinal error.

So how was it “off-balance”? Too much grace? Too much humility? Not enough truth? I didn’t get any sense after glancing through the article again that the author was deliberately short-changing any of these essentials. He may spend more time on some of them because of their scarcity in our cultural discourse.

Given that it would seem you are pushing for more emphasis on truth, I have this question for you: How much falsehood are you willing to mix in with your gospel? If you insist on bundling in your own ideas about the mechanics (or denial of the same) on how God created the world and your ideas turn out to be wrong, do you find that tolerable? It would seem to me that a concern for truth is what actually underlies the very existence of this site and nearly every contributing writer, including Mr. Russo here. It may be an irony that they have actually exhibited a heavier emphasis on following truth than you have!

It is not my ideas/mechanics but what the word of God says. I am merely reading what scripture says.

I am not afraid of being wrong. I can live with being wrong, because I have been wrong before and I have even changed my views. What I can’t live, however, is with people who will sacrifice truth for the sake of peace. What then would be the point of the bible if nobody is willing to offend anyone just for saying, you are wrong. That is my contention with this article. It’s more about getting along rather than finding truth. You can certainly do both. Truth is what the world hates not love.

I will just say that one of the things I enjoy about a forum with so many scientifically minded people is that no one seems to be afraid to say “that’s wrong.” That’s how ideas progress, and how bad ideas eventually get weeded out (because saying “you’re wrong” is easy – accurately supporting it with evidence is another matter). Perhaps the emphasis on gracious dialog, humility, etc. is because there is no shortage of people willing to tell the truth in the scientific community, hence the need for balance.

(EDIT: and I would contend that “the point of the Bible” is Christ, not our willingness to speak what we believe to be truth.)

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Who is doing that? No one here “sacrifices the truth for the sake of peace.” We think the truth is different than what you think the truth is on some things. That doesn’t mean we are willing to “sacrifice” it.

Ironically, when we insist on the truth we believe is true, people accuse us of being arrogant, so I find it funny that focusing on humility and grace instead of insisting we are right about what the truth is qualifies in your mind as not having the right balance. Why don’t you just come right out and say that we can’t ever do things “right” because we don’t agree with you?

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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