Thursday, September 14, 2006

generous orthodoxy

I have been reading a number of recently published books in the "emergent" vein, and while there is much there that is not particularly my cup of coffee, I like the concept of a "generous orthodoxy". I know generous orthodoxy predates the emergent movement, but of late this gang seems to be developing it in a substantial way.

By generous orthodoxy, I am thinking of a model of faith that holds to a solid core of doctrine, and yet at the same time allows God to judge the merits or deficiencies of our intellectual or moral response to that doctrine. The more I wrestle with the concept, the more I realize that I really don't want to give up on either one. I want to be orthodox, and I want to be generous. Maybe I am seeking a non-judgmental evangelicalism ( I have blogged on this before). I am not embracing syncretism, the mixing together of doctrine with other substances. I do want to believe in and trust the One God whom I know as Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. At the same time, my adoration of God, and trust in God should lead me to allow Him to be the judge of others---their behaviors in this life, their ultimate status in the life to come.

Could it be that there is something within the concept of generous orthodoxy that relates to the grace and holiness of God, and seeks to hold these two facets of the divine nature together? Might it be true that when we lose either one, the faith is impoverished; Grace without holiness is libertinism, holiness without grace is legalism? Could it be that Paul wrestled with this same set of ideas in his letters?

I wonder.


Blogger Art said...

Nicely put!

7:09 PM  

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