(ht: Justin Taylor)
Very important point. I really think that often people in our circles can’t feel the force of argument of the positions that they oppose. This leads to a strong parochial position which no one but the leader of the group can really defend. I find it especially disturbing that I see this type of mentality in seminary where the leaders are to be trained.
This from Carl Trueman, Professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary (and recently elected Vice President of Academic Affairs), writes:
When I first became a Christian, I found myself in a tradition which held that one should only read orthodox books; indeed, one should only read books with which one already agreed. I understand the logic of this position; and I appreciate the concern which it embodies to protect believers from being misled. Some of the most brilliant and persuasive people in church history have been heretics, and people can be led astray by reading them. Yet those called to be teachers in the church need a solid grasp of orthodoxy; and that demands by its very nature a solid grasp of heresy. That is why I teach heresy in my classes, and why I make sure I do justice to the legitimacy of the questions which underlie virtually every heresy of which I can think; for it is only then that I can truly explain orthodoxy to my students. And I also get a perverse pleasure from using heresy to do that which heretics most despise: promote sound, biblical, historic orthodoxy.