aGO 0.2: A Generous Refund

a_generous_orthodoxy.jpg Ok let’s continue where we left off.

5. I understand Brian’s “accumulating-opinion style of orthodoxy” to mean that the focus is a “know-it all” or “know-more-than-you” approach where the accent is very much on the intellect (perhaps at the expense of other dimensions like experienceal or the less rational-cognitive stuff). It also makes one think we need to have lots of right answers. I find myself having a strange reaction right now to it. On one hand, I enjoy the whole process of “accumulation” in terms of ongoing learning – and the search for right answers is a powerful motivating and enriching factor in one’s discipleship. But, when it becomes about winning or losing then I find myself resonating less with this style. It fact, it slowly becomes suffocating. I too don’t advocate a “know nothing” approach (thus I’m not anti-intellectual, it’s more of I find it’s limited value and necessity)… perhaps it’s more of “what are we doing with what we know” and “where are these answers affecting me?”..

6. Humility is admiting my limitations and fallibility and willing to revise my formulations – taking seriously (with some humor) my humanity. Charity is considering others better and smarter than me, this involves appreciating insights I would have missed (and often do miss). Courage is the energy to stand firm and stick with what we’re convicted with (keeping the humility & charity part in check of course) and to move forward in the midst of suspicion or criticism. Diligence is the persistent determination to keep on the pursuit of truth and be willing to enter an ongoing cycle of learning, unlearning and relearning.

7. Brian’s view of orthodoxy “as a tool and means to achieve orthopraxy” pushes one to ask “so what does all this mean in terms of our life and ministry here on earth?”, “So what’s next? What needs changing?” So the our understanding on the Trinity has much to say about how we relate to each other or exist as a communty. Our understanding of Christ has relevance to who we can become. Our understanding of sin makes us pause to relook at at the mess we’re in. The pro is that we don’t just focus on the abstract nitty gritty of doctrines or it’s fascninating coherence or logic. .. we may enjoy that but we’re know it’s unfinished or incomplete unless we link what we think with what we do. The flip side is the same we back track from what we do to what we think. And this back and forth process clarifies our doctrine and sharpens our practice. The con might be that if we see orthodoxy merely a tool or means then we may be tempted to value the doctrine on our immediate assesment of it’s usefulness in our perceived definition of “orthopraxy” .. perhaps when we cannot see it’s immediate link to right action it’s a sign we need to pause. Another con is we might miss the beauty of orthodoxy and it becomes to utilitarian.

I would have prefered “orthopathy” to be put n the equation or at least broug
h up to light. I sense it maybe assumed. But if spirituality – heart matters is thrown in I see less the temptatio to be either/or .. then we don’t have to have a more”sequential” metaphor (due to the language of tools and means) … to a more “music-like” (using the language of music and songs) where orthodoxy – right thinking – gives the lyrics, orthopathy right feeling or experience – the melody/harmony and orthopraxy – right action the rhythm. We could just look at a lyric of a song (we could do the same for the melody and rhythm) and there’s some use but it doesn’t convey the total picture of the whole piece.

I’m a little tired so maybe that’s why I may sound not that coherent above. This is a blog … and it’s very much a “beta” thinking (constantly in revision mode). There’s one more question but I’ll try another day.

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