“We all have glimpses of the truth, but, to echo Paul, this side of the grave we all ‘see through a glass darkly.’
If you grew up in conservative American Christianity you would expect Paul to say “we see through a glass nearly perfectly,” we being our particular denomination. But the reality is that no matter how much we think we understand, and we do understand some, even illuminated by the Son and Spirit, our eyes are dim.
And yet there is a continual chorus of Christians saying, “Is that Biblical? Is that Orthodox?” These are not bad questions to ask, but somehow they’ve become so prevalent that other questions and topics are subjugated to the litmus test of the strongest personality in the room’s interpretation of “biblical” or “orthodox.” And the church suffers because of it. Just turn on Christian radio for a sample. And if you’re still not convinced, rent ANY deliberately Christian movie.
“The desire to appear orthodox has led to a dearth of creativity in virtually every realm of the contemporary Christian experience, particularly the realms of theology and music. This streak of perfectionism, which runs deep in the American religious mindset, creates atmospheres of fear and trepidation, especially in regard to new ideas. Experimentation is a key ingredient of a contemporary theological construct.”
Maybe some questions we should start asking alongside the orthodox one are
- Is it fresh?
- Is it good?
- Does it lead to more life?
- Does it ring true to the human experience?