Theological Precision

Have you ever noticed we demand precision from everyone except the preacher and theologian? We want precision from our surgeon, our barber or hairdresser, musicians, cooks, drivers etc., but allow imprecision in the pulpit.

A few years ago we had ordered cabinets for the bathroom in our house here in Costa Rica. We had commissioned a man named Marcos to build these cabinets for us. As my helper and I were installing the cabinets, we found they were out of square. Since we were complaining about the problem as we tried to find a way to cover the difficulty, my wife, Vickie, came in to see what was going on. When we told her the cabinets were not square, she said, “But Marcos is so sweet.” To this my helper replied, “He might be sweet, but its still not square.”

How often have I heard someone remark about a certain Pastor or Evangelist, “His theology might not be quite right, but he is so sweet, or he is so loving, or he has such a passion for the lost,” as if that excused his lack of theological precision. To this we could reply, He might be sweet, but its still not square.

I am sure I will, from time to time, make statements that are confusing or even misleading. None of us communicates perfectly. It is for this reason we offer opportunity for comments or questions about our posts. It is my desire that everyone understand precisely what I am trying to communicate. This is why I like the idea that we should restate our opponent’s position to his satisfaction before attempting to answer it. That means we will say something like, Are you saying. . . ? Instead of, You are saying. . . . In other words, let me tell you what I am saying rather than you telling me what I am saying.

I would like to encourage everyone who writes about the gospel in all of its ramifications to write or speak as precisely as possible. If we are writing about justification, let’s use the term justification, not salvation since justification is a more precise term. We are not talking about a bad haircut here, or a meal that is too salty; we are talking about God’s good news.


3 Responses to “Theological Precision”

  1. January 28, 2013 at 2:20 pm

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