Thursday, May 6, 2010
A Rant on 'Right' Answers
To be sure, it is important to be humble and to learn from others who have more skill and experience than we do, but one of the goals of study is to begin to form our own conclusions based primarily on our own interaction with the text. Careful interpretation and avoiding error is fundamentally important, but I actually think it can be harmful always to be looking over our shoulder wondering if we’ve got it ‘right.’ That’s because this concern can keep us from engaging the text at a deep level. The point is not so much to come up with the ‘right’ answer (God is big enough to handle our mistakes) or even to come up with our own independent conclusions, but to engage the text at a deep enough level that it sticks in our minds, fires our thinking, and works its way down to our hearts. Branching out and ‘guessing’ can be a good antidote to the debilitating fear of the experts.