Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why being 'right' isn't righteous.

A friend of mine recently suggested that 'emergent' believers of Jesus don't hold being 'right' a high value. On the other hand, many followers of Jesus think it's imperative that we are 'right' about the things of our faith. I have some questions about being absolutely right: ~ How do we know if we are absolutely right? ~ Even if we are right, what is the cost of being right? ~ Is being right a higher value than our love for God and our love for our neighbor? If being right is of higher value than living at peace with our neighbor, then we don't really take Jesus command to love our neighbor seriously. In I John 4, the disciple closest the the heart of Jesus writes, "7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." The text is clear that we are required to love one another and not simpy love God. Thus, it's not really an option if we are to love our neighbor. So, can being 'right' really be a value that is of more importance than loving our neighbor? Perhaps being 'right' is a value assigned to our faith by the reformation more than the biblical text.


R.D. Potter said...


Im afraid that you have misrepresented the views of myself and many dear friends of mine who also love Jesus. It seems that you continually assume that one cannot seek to know the truth or be "right" and love God and love their neighbor. Why is this an impossibility? Why in my search for truth about who Jesus is and what he has accomplished, can I not love my neighbor? I would argue that I can do both.
In fact, when you make your arguments that being right is wrong, you yourself are assuming that you are right. Which by your logic, I guess means you don't love your neighbors from the reformed camp. In fact you have been very critical and judgemental of a very good friend of mine, who is a Christian and loves Jesus. So either we can seek to know Jesus truly and love our neighbors while doing so, or we can take stands for Jesus which proves that we do not love our neighbors.

randy buist said...

R.D. Potter,
Honestly, I am having a really hard time loving my reformed neighbors - or at least who claim to be reformed while being vocal critics of emergent people.

Here is why:
1 - Most of their critiques lack good biblical exegesis.
2 - Reformed theology DEMANDS good scholarship. For example, you can't talk about 'preaching' and only look at the greek 'kerus.' There are other words in the biblical text that are also a kind of preaching. So, it's dishonest to equate preaching to kerus. It's not good scholarship.
3- The reformed tradition places SO MUCH emphasis on grace. Yet, grace is excluded by these so called 'reformed' people. Why is that?
4 - The reformed voices who are most critical are neo-conservative. They don't represent much of the reformed tradition. So, they hijack the 'reformed' name for the sake of claiming good theology and yet they exhibit no grace.
5 - Examples in point: Ron Gleason was in G.R. a year ago. I invited him to dinner. He wasn't interested in conversation. Kevin DeYoung has been invited to conversations, and he isn't really interested. D.A. Carson was was invited to have a conversation with Doug Pagitt and Brian McLaren before his book came out; he was 'too busy' to fit it into his schedule.

So, a lack of grace by my very tradition is unacceptable to me.

randy buist said...

By the way, that good friend of yours finds biblical evidence to judge the eternal lives of people. Where is the biblial evidence for that? I thought that was God's position and ONLY God's position. Go ahead and ask Kevin how he justifies it.