I heard an interesting discussion on a morning news show today. I was watching a program that is somewhat left-leaning on a network that is very left-leaning. Some of my fellow evangelicals might say that I should never “pollute my mind” with such things but I find learning how other people see things helps my own thinking.
In any event, a guest on the show was presenting a case that the NRA, far from being a mouthpiece for the gun-makers, actually holds considerable power over those manufacturers and is able to sway their political and business thinking. This man was a journalist for a publication owed by Bloomberg so he could hardly be dismissed as a right-wing mouthpiece himself.
To a person with a left-leaning bias the idea that conservative lobbyists are nothing more than a mouthpiece for evil businessmen is essential doctrine. They therefore responded to this concept that the reverse may be true with barely contained disbelief. One actually sneered “I find what you say to be implausible.”
The journalist responded that it was nonetheless true and documented his case with historical facts to support his contention. By the end of the segment it was clear he had convinced not a single person on the show. He was dismissed by the host with the single word “interesting” before she went on to another topic.
Now, I don’t mean to diss the left or take a stance on gun control. For me the critical demonstration was that their beliefs were so entrenched that they could not deal with contrary facts. It leads me to ask how many such beliefs do Christians have and, more important, do I have? Do we/I need to distort, twist or ignore facts to sustain our beliefs? Am I ever so sure that my conviction about what the Bible teaches is the only right answer that I find myself unable to deal with evidence that refutes my beliefs?
The mark of a humble theology is to say, yes, that is possible. I need to express all my beliefs with a concluding “Of course, I could be wrong.” Humble theology opens a door to discussion. I can enter a discussion to try and persuade another only because I have left myself open to being persuaded in turn.
There are those who contend that a humble theology means I am wishy-washy in my beliefs; that I have a weak or timid faith. I disagree. The foundation of my Christian belief is something I am 100% willing to bet my eternal life on. But there are a host of things we Christians believe that are not essential doctrines. It is perfectly fine to have those beliefs and to not be ashamed of them. But we need to express them with humility and be open to be persuaded – particularly by the facts.