Sunday, March 19, 2006

Epistemological Humility

It was good having Randy Harris at Skillman today. I first met Randy nearly 30 years ago when we were both freshmen in Honors Speech with Jack Ryan at Harding. Obviously he took to it better than I did. Can it be possible that it has been 30 years? I must have been a really young freshman...

I thought he did a terrific job of articulating prinicples for disagreeing without devolving into warfare. I would not disagree with any of the 12 principles he described, but I found some to be of particular value.

  1. That we must be willing to be united in spite of our lack of uniformity;
  2. The concept of concentric circles with the cross at the center and beliefs of decreasing importance on the outer rings;
  3. Epistemological Humility - the willingness to accept that I just might be wrong;
  4. Contextual Faithfulness - both in terms of interpreting scripture and in applying it to specific contexts. I think it will be vital to accurately recognize our context as we discover together over the next few months what it means to be a missional church in this community.

2 comments:

Nathan said...

Craig,
Randy's final point is that God gets the last word. Gos is the one true judge. I agree with this as I would say most people would. How do you think this plays out when there is disagreement within a fellowship?

Craig said...

I think that one of the most important thinks Randy said yesterday was that God's grace is sufficient to cover not only my actions but also my understandings. I don't have to get everything right to be saved. Once I have accepted this concept, it frees me to accept the possibility that I may be wrong about an issue but still be covered by God's grace; it also frees me up to accept that while I may believe you are wrong you are also still covered by God's grace.
If I believe that my salvation hinges upon getting everything right, then I cannot afford to accept the possibility that I may be wrong, and I can't afford the luxury of allowing you to be wrong and remain in fellowship.