Friday, October 07, 2016

Original Thought

My son is a writer. No, not professionally. He just does it, like me, for fun. He has told me on several occasions that he thinks of himself what I think of myself. We've never had an original idea. We read stuff and it spawns an idea or we hear something that links to something else already in our heads that takes us down a thought path, but to actually come up with a new idea? Doesn't really happen.

Here's the thing. I'm not at all sure it should. More importantly, when it comes to doctrine, Scripture, and the like, I think it had better not.

Jesus said that He would send the Holy Spirit to His followers. The Spirit would "teach you all things" (John 14:26). He said, "When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth." (John 16:13)

Based on that, I have to worry when Christians come into "new truth". If Jesus was right and the Holy Spirit leads His own into "all the truth", what would make me think that He leads me into a truth that no one else had encountered? What took Him so long? Why did He wait? Instead, I believe that "all truth" can be traced from the beginning of the Church through today. I believe there is a "thin red line", so to speak, that has been the truth all along. Sometimes it is very thin, almost obscured by the error. Sometimes it is bold, a "majority rule" view. But if, indeed, Jesus was right about the Holy Spirit, then it seems incomprehensible to me that 1) the truth among genuine believers ever fully goes away in history and 2) none of us would ever encounter an original thought, a new idea, a brand new doctrine.

It's a tool I use when I study Scripture, one of the measures of whether or not I am thinking about what I'm reading correctly. Is this new? Or is it straight out of history as it is straight out of the Bible? Because when it comes to God's truth, I don't want a new idea. I want His original intent. Authors may or may not come up with genuinely new ideas, but truth -- God's truth -- is forever. We shouldn't be coming up with original thought there.

4 comments:

Bob said...

Part of the battle with the truth is not to find "new truth" but to find new ways to express
the old truth that is meaningful. sometimes the truth is dormant because people have forgotten how to explain it. People have lost the significance of doctrine because they don't see it's relevance to today. that is not because there is anything wrong with doctrine, it's because the old methods of teaching it are not as relevant. the art of teaching in a way that gets attention is lost.
that's one of the reasons i love the way Stan teaches, he does in a way that challenges the mind to think.

Stan said...

Expressing it in a way that it can be understood is important. I'm not so sure I'm very good at that. Figuring out what is true is important. Luckily I have a guide Book. Too bad so many Christians are becoming illiterate.

Marshall Art said...

I am open to the possibility that some "new" insight might come about that does not alter what we know after these thousands of years, but more clearly clarifies a point or two. But to come up with some "new truth" seems unlikely at best. However, that hasn't stopped anyone from pretending the Holy Ghost (I like to use the old terms now and then) has enlightened them on that which really was never in question before. For example, and I'll use a different example than the more obvious example from current events, the idea of women as preachers. One fellow uses that to support the notion that the Spirit can bring us to believe differently about sexual matters. My response has been that I don't think there is any reason to suppose that the Spirit had ever changed course on the issue of women preachers, so that argument fails by itself, much less as an argument in support of the this other issue.

There's really nothing new under the sun. I don't see that there needs to be with regards the Word of God.

Stan said...

"I don't think there is any reason to suppose that the Spirit had ever changed course on the issue of women preachers."

Precisely.