I was chatting with a friend of mine this morning and he was relaying a story of a friend of his who has been across the board theologically speaking. I had another similar conversation with a friend a couple years ago. It seems like there are people who have a proclivity for poor doctrine. I have a few proposals as to why this happens as I have heard the Sirens singing and have almost crashed.
1. Typically folks that have such a tendency for moving like ooze through various theological systems begin with an attitude of skepticism. That is, they have not first got hold of a sound understanding of authority in their lives. They hear something from the pulpit and their first inclination is to question what has been said. This can be nourished into a good habit when hearing sermons, but I am speaking of the inability to be shape by the sermon – to desire to come under the faithful preaching of the Word. These men question whether the Church has done anything right since the last Apostle died. We haven’t worshipped aright. We haven’t practiced social justice. We haven’t lived in the power of the Spirit. Etc. This tendency runs deep, of course, to pride. But that doesn’t fully answer the question. We must first learn how to submit ourselves under the authority God has graciously placed in our lives – parents, elders, managers, etc.
2. The desire to be fresh and cool does not escape even the Christ-follower. I remember when I was in high school I used to claim that I heard about a band or a song on the radio before it was popular. That is, I was trying to let others know that I was on the in and they were Johnnies-come-lately. Thus I preserved a sense of elitism by the prevenient knowledge I possessed. Is there not a bit of this in the movements of the Federal Vision and the New Perspectives and Theonomy?
3. A final reason (at least in this brief meditation) is the lack of tethering that folks have to the biblical worldview. Now this is not a trump card – “You’re just not biblical.” Rather, I have felt my tendency to lay hold on the latest hipster theology because I did not hae a solid system in which to grade and adopt teachings. Although I am sure this proclivity has been around before Marcion, I believe with the anchoring provided by catechisms and such helped people imbibe a biblical wordlview. They may not have been able to articulate the doctrine of the hypostatic union of Jesus, but they could sniff out some bad Nestorianism or Socinianism when it introduced itself at a Bible study. I was not so fortunate. Had I been provided with some kind of coherent worldview prior to my college days I would have saved myself a lot of time and heresy-ache.