How do you handle theological controversy?
Do you run away from it by agreeing to disagree, or do you see every different viewpoint as the proverbial hill to die on?
I usually am naturally bent to agree to disagree and not come into conflict. However, I have found it is also important to express your convictions without coming across as an “angry” Fundie. As the Apostle Peter wrote,
“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”
Did you catch that last part? “…yet do it with gentleness and respect”
Peter’s words should not be used to justify your trolling habits online or the propensity to chew out relatives at family gatherings. That’s how good religious people do it, but that should not be how a follower of Jesus, and someone steeped in the gospel, should act.
We need strong convictions that are articulated with charity and kindness. Richard Mouw would say we need convicted civility, and I would happen to agree with him. We need humility in our conversations that is connected with a deep understanding of our own faith.
Know what you believe and why you believe it. Then articulate that belief with clarity and civility.