Philip Clayton raises a good point in this video about the need for theologians to engage in discussions with philosophers that don’t involve pulling the dogma card.

As church leaders, we need to teach this kind of openness before theological education.That way when people are exposed to philosophical dialogue that confronts their worldview, this won’t happen:

(From today’s Postsecret update)

I think the kind of 1st person theology that Philip Clayton is describing in this video has to be encouraged very early in discipleship. We can approach discipleship in churches in ways that give permission to change theological positions later.

Many adults in our churches were handed a set of non-negotiable truth statements when they were first discipled. If catechism is packaged that way, then our beliefs are either 100% correct or 100% BS.  When these truths are under attack, we have to fight back because otherwise we’ve wasted the last umpteen years believing something stupid.

On the other hand, if we learn early on that one of the only things we can be certain about is that our theology is going to change, then we can go into philosophical discussions and make truth assertions with the idea that we’re still searching, excited that we might discover something new.