Support the Café
Search our site

Christian humility

Christian humility

E. J. Dionne has written perhaps the most insightful column I have read on recent controversies about the interpretation of the Bible. His view on whether religious principles can be used to inform our opinions on vexing political issues:

The answer lies in embracing a humility about how imperfectly human beings understand the divine, which is quite different from rejecting God or faith. This humility defines the chasm between a living religious tradition and a dead traditionalism. We need to admit how tempted we are to deify whatever commitments we have at a given moment. And those of us who are Christian need to acknowledge that over the history of the faith, there have been occasions when “a supposedly changeless truth has changed,” as the great church historian and theologian Jaroslav Pelikan put it.

What distinguishes this view from pure relativism is the insistence that truth itself exists. The Christian’s obligation is to engage in an ongoing quest for a clearer understanding of what it is. Robertson would disagree with me, but I’d say that we are going through precisely such an effort when it comes to how we think about homosexuality, much as Christians have done before on such matters as slavery, the role of women and the Earth’s place in the universe.

What do you think of Dionne’s column?

Dislike (0)
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

9 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Gary Paul Gilbert

I don't see the need for attacking relativism, of which there are many respectable types in philosophy. A truth which never shows up as such and no truth are not very different. Most people are pragmatic enough to avoid a pointless ontological debate about whether truth as such exists.

Gary Paul Gilbert

"What distinguishes this view from pure relativism is the insistence that truth itself exists. The Christian’s obligation is to engage in an ongoing quest for a clearer understanding of what it is."

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Gary Paul Gilbert

I don't see the need for attacking relativism, of which there are many respectable types in philosophy. A truth which never shows up as such and no truth are not very different. Most people are pragmatic enough to avoid a pointless ontological debate about whether truth as such exists.

Gary Paul Gilbert

"What distinguishes this view from pure relativism is the insistence that truth itself exists. The Christian’s obligation is to engage in an ongoing quest for a clearer understanding of what it is."

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Rod Gillis

Folks who liked this, may also find the article in the link of interest.

http://www.ucobserver.org/opinion/2013/12/finish_sentence/

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Rod Gillis

Folks who liked this, may also find the article in the link of interest.

http://www.ucobserver.org/opinion/2013/12/finish_sentence/

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Rod Gillis

Folks who liked this, may also find the article in the link of interest.

http://www.ucobserver.org/opinion/2013/12/finish_sentence/

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café