Join C. Michael Patton and Carrie Hunter as they discuss the issue of theological arrogance.

MESSAGE SUMMARY: Sometimes teaching theology can be hard—very hard. You run the risk of creating monsters who are more concerned that you fit into their inner circle than anything else. Calvinists can often be the worst at being “discerning.” Theology should create humility, not arrogance. It is not always our job to set ourselves on thrones of judgment to change the way people think. It is our job, always, to be kind and gracious and let the work of the Holy Spirit change people, including ourselves.


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  • C Michael Patton
    C Michael Patton

    C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Find him everywhere: Find him everywhere

      3 replies to "Theology Unplugged: I’m Not Judgmental, I’m Discerning"

      • Scott Castro

        I enjoyed this very much Michael (thanks for the “plug” on “Unplugged” BTW) and look forward to listening to more.
        This is something which I have struggled with myself in my apologetics with Mormons & JW’s especially; being too polemic in my approach rather than irenic. This is somethng which TTP has helped me with greatly, as well as looking at the “chinks” in my own theological armor, so to speak. This is something which you mentioned near the end of the podcast & I feel that Warren, who teaches TTP at VBI (Vancouver, WA) does really well with in IT: getting us to look at our own theology more objectively.
        I am getting ready to start Soteriology on the 18th and am really looking forward to it!
        I agree with David in that Carrie was great.

      • Doug Hagler

        So close! As one of those horrible, evil liberals, who also happens to listen to and enjoy a lot of your podcasts, I felt like this conversation really came close to some things that, from my ‘side’, are very clear.

        You came very close to beginning to touch upon *strengths* of liberal theology, which conservative theology lacks. One of those strengths is what the missionary (whose name escapes me) might have been feeling as he walked right past the conservative fellowship and walked in to spend time with the liberal fellowship where he was serving. There is a weight of judgmentalism that I feel very often in conversation with conservative theologians – as if everything I say is being scrutinized to see whether it passes thousands of tiny litmus-tests. And when it doesn’t, woe unto me, and any other liberals who might be involved in the conversation.

        This is *not* simply passion – I am a very passionate liberal, active in all sorts of things other listeners might disagree with – even evangelizing on behalf of liberal theology, which of course I wouldn’t buy into and practice in the first place if I didn’t think it was a better way. Passion is not necessarily the issue – arrogance hits the nail squarely in my view.

        Not to say that no liberals are arrogant – I simply think that fostering arrogance – creating “monsters” in your own words – is a particular weakness of conservative theology that liberal theology does not have. How can arrogance not arise out of absolutism?

        I tie it back to the interconnection of belief and practice. I find that conservative theology focuses on “right belief” and liberal theology, while spending some time with right beliefs, focuses more on “right practice”. I don’t think the two are separable – more sides of the same coin.

        But, anyway, I thought this was quite candid, which I appreciated. I just encourage you to think more about whether, perhaps, whether conservative theology is by it’s nature,…

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