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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