Wide and Narrow

This will be just a quick, undeveloped thought that I’ll plant and see what grows out of it.

I think that there are much wider biblical allowances for what may be considered orthodox theologically than most Christians believe. I also think that there are much narrower biblical allowances for Christian orthopraxy than we usually advertise.

The irony is that the tendency I observe amongst Christians is just the opposite: narrowing orthodoxy and widening orthopraxy. I have my ideas of what this all applies to, but I’m more interested in what other people think…

4 responses to “Wide and Narrow”

  1. you’re probably right with both your inkling and your evaluation of, really, the majority of christendom. interestingly i was having a chat with some folks this weekend and, specifically speaking of faith wrestles, which of course could refer to so many things, but usually, it seems, refers to orthodoxy, what we we believe, and, more often, don’t believe. the girl’s imagination of her final judgment centered on what she believed correctly and incorrectly. i was struck again by the centrality, so we’ve been brought up to think in evangelicaldom, of doctrinal correctness.

    the narrowness of orthopraxy allowances makes me nervous. maybe it should. it’s far easier to stay in my head, on the orthodoxy road. far easier to be comfortable and in control. sort of, anyway. yesterday we, again, recited the apostles’ creed at church and i thought to myself: how can anyone truly believe all of this stuff? maybe that’s why the priest closed by saying “and blessed are those who share in these sacred mysteries”.

  2. Tony: The story you tell is all too common, definitely. I kind of forget that from where I sit in my ivory tower of studies.

    And yes, the (potential) narrowness of orthopraxy is unnerving, and I think you’re right to suggest that it should be. Reminds of Chesterton: “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, but has rather been found difficult and left untried.”

    As to the last bit, yes, it’s impossible to believe the Apostle’s Creed, but with God all things are supposed to be possible… This isn’t to shirk intellectual honesty, but to remind us that there is something truly scandalous and unbelievable about worshiping a crucified God…

  3. Matt,

    I think you’re on to something here. I’d love to see it developed more, shoud you have time.

    p.s. I love the new blog design. the yellow is brilliant! (pardon the pun ;)

  4. Peter: Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I do think that this topic is begging for further development, so we’ll see how my writing whims strike me.

    Oh, and cheers for the design props. :)

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