Humble Dogmatism

February 8, 2006

Tonight, we at CHBC did our
own little bit to encourage Bible reading–we read the entire book of I
Corinthians out loud!  It took about 45 minutes, and it was really
encouraging and powerful to hear the message of the book as a whole.  This
was done as an introduction to a regular series of Wednesday night studies in
the book of I Corinthians.  (CJ, who knows what will happen with CHBC
studying I Corinthians!  And Lig, we’ll make sure and pay special
attention to 7:14–that paedobaptistic text than which there is no better!!)

Anyway, I think that such
reading encourages the right kind of humility.  How can we as Christians
be humbled without hearing the Word to which we should submit?  How can we
be humbled apart from hearing and heeding the Word of God?  How will our
churches ever be the truly humble assemblies we want them to be if they do not
hear and submit themselves to God’s Word?

What we need is humble
theology–theology which submits itself to the truth of God’s Word.
"Liberal" theology–theology which does not view Scripture as finally
trustworthy and authoritative–is not humble before the Word.  Churches
which are tentative and decry dogmatism may sound humble, but it is not
truly humble to do anything other than to submit to God’s Word.  Christian
humility is to simply accept whatever God has revealed in His Word.
Humility is following God’s Word wherever it goes, as far as it goes, not
either going beyond it or stopping short of it.

Bertrand Russell, the late,
well-known, British philosopher wrote in 1950 that “The essence of the liberal
outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are
held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and
with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment. This
is the way opinions are held in science, as opposed to the way in which
they are held in theology," (in “Philosophy and Politics,” in
Unpopular Essays, [1950] p. 15).
These days, I guess many are holding
theological conclusions in such a "scientific" manner.  But such
hestitancy is not humility.  The humility we want in our churches is to
read the Bible and believe it–everything God has said, dogmatically, and
humbly!  It is not humble to be hesitant where God has been clear and
plain.