The Struggle of Changing Beliefs

One of the many scary consequences with reading books on ethics and theology is every now and then, you read something that forces you to reevaluate your current beliefs. It’s scary in the sense that you don’t know the outcome of this reevaluation. Sometimes, after you’ve had a chance to work through the issues, you’re beliefs stay the same. But, you are more informed about your beliefs and any objections that may be raised concerning those beliefs. Other times, this reevaluation causes you to completely change your beliefs in some way.

I’m currently working my way through Kingdom Ethics by Glen H. Stassen and David P. Gushee. This is one of those books I’ve been meaning to get to for a while. This is one of those books that has forced me to reevaluate what I believe and why.

I’m not vain enough to assume that my beliefs are infallible and welcome chances to reevaluate what I believe. It just seems to fit with the process of discernment that I’ve been going through for most of the year. It seems that recently, I’ve been doing a lot of evaluation. Over the past few months I’ve been sporadically documenting how my beliefs have changed.

Here’s where I’m at so far:

  • Moving from traditional theology to a more open theism
  • Moving from just war to just peacemaking

And most recently:

  • Moved from pro-capital punishment to anti-capital punishment-The more involved I get with justice issues, the more I came to see the injustices within and the issues surrounding this system of “retributive justice.”
  • Moved from purely pro-choice belief to being morally pro-life, but legally pro-choice-I’ve actually been here for a while, I just couldn’t express my beliefs accuratly enough to categorize myself into a group.
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4 thoughts on “The Struggle of Changing Beliefs

  1. Craig,

    Before ya go full tilt into Open Theism, let me suggest reading: No Other God, A Response To Open Theism, by John Frame. I have read it, simply the hammer blow to my mind! It seems we are antithetical here on almost everything! 😉 Though we both like Luther, but Luther was certainly no liberal mind, in my regard.

    • I’ve added it to my Amazon wishlist. Check at both library systems, but neither had it.

      Opposing views aren’t necessarily a bad thing. It just makes for interesting discussions.

      • My last over-lapped with yours. Again, note the rather new book about the man and ministry of John Frame: Speaking The Truth In Love; the Theology of John Frame, edited by John Hughes (P&R 2009). Frame had issues with Westminster of California, especially his long time mentor, Meredith Kline (now deceased). Note the long battle too over Norman Shepherd’s teaching, etc. Of which in the main Frame supports – See, Trust and Obey, Norman Shepherd & The Justification Controversy At Westminster Theological Seminary, by Ian Hewitson, Ph.D. Frame wrote the foreward to the book.

        I share this, for “change” is always part of the reality of truth! I might add, this is really the essence of being “Reformed” – reforming by ‘Spirit & truth’!

    • Btw, least it appear like I am some hard and closed Reformed Calvinist, which I am not in the critical sense, I have been reading Barth again, and several of the Barth scholars. Barth is always a challenge, and like a modern church father. Again, I am Reformed, and close to some Federal Calvinist lines, but I am also toward the Federal Vision on some issues – like covenant and sacraments. I am an Anglican, but not just a straight Low Church guy either. So I really know some of the issues of which you suggest, at least the theological one’s. Perhaps you have noted that some like to take shots at me theologically, because I am rather eclectic minded. And I can change my mind, which you can note many of us do at times, but few like to admit it!

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