26 July 2006

Truth: Making It Up As We Go?


Today on the Weekly Standard's site:

For those who are shocked by the crack-up of the Episcopal Church, let me explain: The answer was on a T-shirt I saw last month while traveling to the Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly in Birmingham and the Episcopal Church General Convention in Columbus. It read, "I'm Making It Up As I Go."

Exactly.

Both denominational meetings were characterized by division, polarization, and discord as conservatives and liberals attempted to discern and approve God's will on issues ranging from divestment from companies doing business with Israel to gay clergy to the doctrine of the Trinity ("Mother, Child, and Womb"?). As left and right argued their cases, the real issue emerged. It is not the opposing opinions on assorted overtures and resolutions that divide left and right; it is the underlying understanding of truth, and how we know it.

The left--also known as progressives, liberals, revisionists, and (in some circles) heretics--base their convictions on individualism, subjectivity, and majority vote with passing references to Scripture and creeds. The right--also known as traditionalists, conservatives, evangelicals, and orthodox (not necessarily said as a compliment)--insist on submission to the authority of the Bible and of historic confessions, regardless of contemporary preferences. It is this division that makes the conflict between the two sides so rancorous. Compromise on issues is possible. Compromise on the fundamental questions of truth and authority is not.

 

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