I want to commend to you an excellent article by Roger Nicole on the Founders Ministries website. Entitled ‘Polemic theology: how to deal with those who differ from us’, it does what it says on the tin. Structured around three questions – (1) What do I owe the person who differs from me? (2) What can I learn from the person who differs from me? and (3) How can I cope with the person who differs from me? – it offers some superb advice on handling matters of controversy.
Although it has as its focus areas of theological disagreement and is not addressed specifically to the creation-evolution controversy (which encompasses scientific disagreements as well), it doesn’t take too much imagination to apply the principles that the article sets out in that area also. And if they were, perhaps the whole landscape of the origins debate (among believers at least) might be transformed, and in a good way.
Of course, as I read these articles, I ask myself whether I have personally lived up to these standards, and know that I have not. May God grant me – indeed all of us – a fresh measure of his Spirit to do so.
HT: Steve Jeffery on Facebook for drawing Roger Nicole’s article to my attention.