If we are honest with ourselves we have an opinion on just about everything. For the most part we think we are right. One of the first courses I took in Seminary was "Prolegomena and Bibliology." It took me about a semester to get the pronunciation of that first word right. But in reality it is pretty much useless in ordinary conversation. But it is important. As a matter of fact that part of the course was life changing.
Prolegomena is the study or the presentation of the first things. In this case theological method. In the class we examined what it took to deal with theological issues with integrity. It is an arduous, multistep process. The first step of which is to honestly examine and admit your presuppositions.
I will not outline the entire process, but I will say that about halfway through the semester I realized that I held strong convictions on a number of Christian issues for which I had very little if any Biblical reason to hold. The positions had been formed by listening to messages, conversations with leaders, reading books, and doing fill in the blank Bible studies. All of those activities are good. But as the source of my convictions they were a tragically deficient foundation.
The problem was that when I came to the scripture I expected to see those convictions upheld. When I ran across passages that seemed to hint that I may have a wrong view on an issue, I went through incredible mental gymnastics to attempt to bring what the text said back in line with what I wanted it to say.
All of us, at differing levels, face this challenge. It is much easier to see in others. I am sitting here and several examples of others misreading the text leap to mind, while I am struggling to remember once when I did it. But I guarantee that I have.
This is one of the reasons that it is so critical that we all as believers are engaged in the independent study of the Word. And that we are engaged in that practice in a group. We have to resist the pressure to be a consumer of other’s work. Of a continual diet of pabulum. We have to dig into the Word for ourselves, struggling past our preconceived notions to face the truth of what God has said about Himself and us.
That, after all, is what worship is all about. That is what Paul exhorts us to do in Romans 12:1 – 2, is it not?