A Note on Authority

I don’t consider myself an expert on any any of the topics we’re going to delve into here. I’m not a theologian trained or an ordained member of the clergy, which makes this blog a bit complicated. You see, I firmly believe in an educated clergy speaking from a position of knowledge, experience and denominational tradition. I have none of these things in their entirety. Yet. So take everything I say on here with a grain of salt. Remember that I’m only an undergraduate writing about his thoughts and about the things he sees in the Church and in everyday life. If my arguments come off as half-cocked or poorly organized, remember I’m still learning. If I revise my positions, it’s not because I enjoy waffling on issues, but because I have become more fully educated in a subject than I was before. If my lack of experience with actual pulpit ministry makes me sound foolish, remember that I’ve never been ordained. I cannot offer you all the answers, or even most of the questions. I can only use the brain God has given me to think deeply about the issues that I find both uplifting and disturbing in the world I inhabit and the Church I hope to serve. So take these words for what you will. Read, comment, and respond. Engage me in dialogue or debate. Disagree with me. Call me out. Help me learn more. Just remember that I’m not the final authority on any of these matters, and that I’m only a clergyman-in-training.

    • Rowan Cant
    • July 3rd, 2012

    Hi, I’m really enjoying reading through this blog because you are trying to offer variety. The very fact that you are still forming your opinion means that you present in a more unbiased manner.
    So, as you continue on. I pray that you continue in your humility with the knowledge that however studied you may be, there is a scholar who thinks you are wrong and he/she might still be right.
    I believe it keeps us humble and opens our faith up to a need for openess for God to speak and for us to present our views without bias or power, but with simplicity, honesty and the knowledge that if we are right, we can be right without having to argue and we can argue and still be wrong.
    There are bigger battles to fight then theological correctness. Like how what we believe influences us. Ie. Church politics, grace and acceptance of un-churched, love as first priority

    • Martin Australia
    • September 28th, 2012

    Hi Aaron
    After over 30 years of being a christian I would like to offer the following free advice, which is hopefully worth more than you pay for it!
    Please don’t think you know anything when you graduate, you will only then be ready to start to grow.
    If you can maintain this desire to learn and your existing humble attitude after you graduate from college until after you graduate from life (ie die) then you will continue to grow in the favour and understanding of God. (2 Peter 3:8)
    The most important thing for a young theologian to do is to pray and learn scripture, and learn the context of every “single” verse that is used to justify anything. Never let the context be removed from the discussion, always look it up and read the sections before and after and try and get some idea of the original languages.
    Never rely on anyones interpretation of scripture, make up your own based on the actual scriptures.
    You have an inquiring mind, but don’t forget there are truths, don’t get caught in always looking for the flaws in a an argument and not accepting anything. You will certainly never know it all, but you must accept what you do know and not undermine it by listening to every stupid idea about it.
    God gave us the ten commandments, not the ten suggestions! He expects us to take life seriously and DO something, not just think about what would be the best thing to do.
    Religion is living not just thinking. It should be living based on thinking, not thinking based on thinking.

    cheers for now
    Martin

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