In my last post I asked the question of what sort of god would allow the early church, filled as it was with flawed human beings, to work out its own basic beliefs.
Looking back we rightly ask, Is this process trustworthy?”
Were mistakes made?
Did the early church get the following “big rocks” correct?
- Doctrine of the Trinity
- Books for inclusion in the NT
- Nature of Christ
- Justification and sanctification
In my view, here’s the sort of god that would allow this process to be so human:
A god who, himself, became human.
His humanity validates ours.
So if it’s “okay” to be human, then maybe human processes are more valued by God than we think. Maybe God works in and through human endeavors.
Maybe God isn’t so interested in doing dramatic miracles like snapping his fingers to instantly create the NT or sending down stone tablets with the doctrine of the Trinity inscribed.*
Maybe he calls us to work on theology with the humility and strength that only he can provide. Maybe such work depends on human character, community, mutual trust, prayer, listening, careful thinking, tough negotiations.
Maybe the early church was in position to do this difficult work, empowered as it was by the God who entered human history.
In my view, it’s only on this basis that the process is trustworthy.
* I have no problem with God doing miracles of any sort. But when we think of God’s activity as being restricted to the dramatic and sensational, we miss out on many of his main works.