The Greatest Power in the Chrisitan Faith, the Ability to Grow

 By Andrew l. Pate, Jr.

Self-correctdion is a trait too often absent  from many people,  an absence  no where  more noticeable than among the  followers of Christianity  who today identify themselves as "evangelical Christian," which label itself obscures a deep, foundational weakness.

Indeed, for these so paralyzed, the very act of altering or "growing"  in one's faith understanding is anathema, a sure sign of apostasy, as is  their refusal to accept any notion that  individual believers can grow in their faith- understanding.

Perhaps the chief attribute of these so-called Chrstian non-correctors is their belief in the literal interpretation of the Christian Bible.  What the Bible says, they aver,  is absolutely and irreversibly true; nothing to the contrary is acceptable.

These non-correctible "evangelicals" usually refuse to accept any form of legal abortion and frequently are known to hold to bizarre and irrational theories about American politics.

These non-correctors of the present have already done severe damage in American politics, and elsewhere. .  In political discussion, you’re either for them or against them; there’s no middle ground.  And on specific Christian positions, they are fixated and unyielding.  They are right and everybody else is wrong.

But the worst damage these non-growers are inflicting is upon themselves.   Their faith is paralyzed in its infancy, unable to reach mature expression, and therefore, inadequate for today's world.  They have nothing important to say concerning climate change or racial, feminist and immigration issues.

No grow "Christian" deniers cannot tolerate new insights, like those being constantly uncovered by biblical scholars about how the Bible came to be and how its interpretation has been altered (improved upon?) since century one.

Holding steadfastly to a literal interpretation of the scriptures, non-growers close themselves off to a deeper, richer understanding of the Bible and its essential teachings.

It is as though these non-growers have drawn a fixed circle around themselves, refusing to let Truth in, and certainly not any persons who do not believe, act, think and worship as they do.

So, let us thank the Good Lord for the great Christian thinkers who have grown through the ages, from Saint Augustine to the latest writer on the immense value of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Let us look to them, and not to the deniers of the magnificent quest for Truth that Jesus Christ set the world on a path toward.

Jurgen Moltmann

Two theologians who have had great influence in recent decades toward advancing Christian understanding are Jurgen Moltmann, Theology of Hope,  and N.T. Wright,  Surprised by Hope.

How fascinating it is that both of the above-mentioned scholars have Hope as a main theme in their Christian understanding.