Monday, August 22, 2005

Choosing Wise Counselors

I see that on the Reformation 21 website yet more articles about the New Perspectives on Paul movement. I don't expect to read them, having already read Guy Waters' book and other articles. But the subject recalls for me my own approach to this and many other theological issues that come up, such as theonomy, the charismatic movement, the emerging movement, the Catholic-Protestant movement, etc.

We are to think for ourselves, of course, but one decision I've made that helps me in sorting how the issues that keep popping is knowing whom I will look to for wise counsel. Depending upon the matter, I will consider foremost what men like Phil Ryken, Sinclair Ferguson, Bryan Chappell, Ligon Duncan, J.I. Packer, John Piper have to say. Jim Boice, of course, was my first go-to person. I may differ with their conclusions (and they may differ with one another), but, again, they set the pace. To sort out every issue by reading all the materials by everyone with a viewpoint, granting every viewpoint the same weight, is, quite frankly, too difficult for my mental capacity.

But it goes further than limited thinking ability. It finally is a matter of trust. I trust the men I've mentioned (and others) because over time through their teaching and character, they have proven themselves to be trustworthy handlers of God's truth. They stand in the tradition of sound biblical teaching. Thus, all the more, when I am confronted with a new teaching, I look to them for guidance.


Anonymous Lydia B said...

Ah, the comfort of pastoral endorsement for a much practiced approach. While important to understand all sides of an issue, the investment in acquiring exhaustive knowledge is indeed often too time consuming. Turning to trustworthy teachers for guidance, far from being a cop-out, is perhaps the shortest means to the best end in our goal of understanding something.

9:40 AM  

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