Too in Love With Our Own Ideas

Joseph Loconte, in The Searchers, offered a profound insight that all who are responsible for teaching the faith must consider (often).

"What strikes me about some of these preachers is that they probably couldn't recognize the hand of God if it popped them on the nose. They're just too in love with their own ideas about how he works."

He is especially impatient with those who give insensitive and shallow answers that arise out of a political bias or a theological system. Whether it was the terrible and inappropriate pronoucnements about God's judgment on the USA because of sexual immorality... or the same pronoucnements about God's judgment due to the military injustices of the USA around the world... they were utterly banal for most people. Such pronoucnements told much more about the preacher and much less about God.

He is especially critical of a Cranky Calvinist 25 year old preacher who spoke on the problem of suffering.

"The sermon was on the problem of suffering, taken from the Old Testament book of Job. From what any of us could tell, the most painful experience this earnest man had ever known in his young life was the trauma of teenage acne. Yet his message on the mystery of suffering was confident, theologically precise, intellectually rigorous - and utterly detached from the everyday struggles of the people before him."

 

I agree with Loconte in his concern that we are too enamored with our own ideas...

But I am not sure what alternative he offers, for it does seem to me that Loconte is quite enamored with his own ideas.

I think it comes down to this. How how biblically substantial, how spiritually wise and how pastorally sensitive are the ideas we offer.

And are we open to discovering that our favorite ideas are not as good as we assumed they were?

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International
BrianRice@lcileaders.org