Re: Burgy's Testimony

From: george murphy (
Date: Wed Jul 17 2002 - 08:43:42 EDT

  • Next message: Walter Hicks: "Re: Burgy's Testimony"

    Walter Hicks wrote:

    > Burgy╠s Testimony
    > I think that Burgy has shown incredible courage in posting his personal
    > testimony on this list. I further believe that the rest of us should
    > follow suit. I know that my own cannot be anywhere near as compelling,
    > but I am willing to post if even one other person can agree that this is
    > a good idea --- and maybe even they do not.
    > BTW: we recently did this in a Stephen Ministry meeting at the church I
    > attend. The results were truly amazing and make one wonder why we dare
    > not more be far more open to our neighbors. There are many ways to come
    > to know the Lord and you must hear those of others to understand his
    > amazing grace.

             I'm sorry that I have to disagree. Burgy felt, because of responses
    to some of his comments, that it was necessary to make a statement about his
    own experience and faith. I found that helpful and what I say here is not
    at all intended to be critical of either his posting that statement or the
    contents of his post.
             But I do not think it will be helpful for everyone on the list to
    follow suit and change the character of the list. Unless there is obvious
    reason to think otherwise I think we should put the best construction on
    everything & assume that others approach discussions from a standpoint of
    genuine Christian faith. How we may have come to faith is, _for the
    purposes of the discussions for which this list is intended_, secondary.
             Faith, in the deepest sense of trust, is primary. Theology,
    thinking about & expressing our faith, is something secondary, but not
    thereby unimportant. Science and technology call us to serious theological
    reflection. Our own experiences will affect our theology & the ways in
    which we express it, but personal testimony of anyone after the apostles
    cannot be foundational.
             In addition, sharing of "testimonies" subjects people to the
    temptation to make the presentation of their own experiences more
    gut-wrenching, heart-warming, inspiring &c than that of the last person. It
    can also operate as a kind of theological blackmail, for after someone has
    described some intense experience it seems a little churlish to criticize
    him or her for bad theology.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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