Being Right vs. Being Christian
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The Distinction between Doctrine and Faith (Chapter 8)
Obviously, people who believe in the traditional “orthodox” doctrines think I am wrong. Of course, I also think they are wrong. Can we discuss our differences without resorting to name-calling?
I believe so and hope so. I certainly do not think that they are not Christian. We disagree on how to explain such things as why Jesus is central to our religion. We agree on what is more important — that he is central to our understanding.
So we can share the same faith, even while each of us thinks the other is wrong about doctrine.
Jesus taught us how to live, not what to believe.
Christian faith is when we live that way, self-consciously based on the teachings and example of Jesus whom we call the Christ. Christian doctrine or belief is how we explain this faith, how we conceptualize God and the centrality of this Jesus.
So I can argue that you are wrong in your beliefs, and still understand that you share the same faith — that you are also trying to follow Jesus in the way you live. I hope you can do the same for me, when you think I am wrong and misguided in my beliefs. After all, these beliefs are only our rational explanations of our faith, not the faith itself.