The introduction to Pelikan's book includes a great quote from Tennyson that brought into clear focus my frustration from last Sunday. We visited a local church (still looking for a home) which had good worship, friendly people, and an excellent sermon admonishing us to love Jesus. But looking at their denomination's statement of faith was frankly a little scary: while we're in harmony with their emphasis on the Word, and their interest in evangelism and mission, they have strict positions on things like church organization (include the unwillingness to allow women to serve in leadership positions), and even recognition of Sunday as a continuing day of rest: a few years ago, a minister in this denomination was disciplined for participating in a sports event on Sunday.
At the same time, i have no interest in surrendering orthodoxy simply to achieve more open-mindedness: it's the typical dilemma. Along with solid Biblical commitment, i'd just like to find a humble recognition that, while we do our best to understand what the Bible teaches, all such understandings are limited.
Strong Son of God, immortal Love,
Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we cannot prove;
Our little systems have their day;
They have their day and cease to be:
They are but broken lights of thee,
And thou, O Lord, art more than they.
Alfred Lord Tennyson - Strong Son of God, Immortal Love
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