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Wrong Again?

One of my favorite Peanuts strips has Charlie Brown talking to Snoopy, who is once again seated at his trusty typewriter atop his dog house. Charlie Brown says, "I hear you're writing a book on theology. I hope you have a good title." Snoopy replies, "I have the perfect title . . . Has It Ever Occurred to You That You Might Be Wrong?"

Too often, we remain firmly convinced our views are the only right ones. We generally make that assessment, not because we've done the studying and praying necessary to arrive at that conclusion, but because it's what we've heard all our lives, and so it can't possibly be wrong. Scholars have the same problem but for the opposite reason: if it's new and innovative, they assume it's right. Either that or, "Well, I did all the research on this myself, and I trust myself above everyone else, so I'm right and they're not." It's a trap we can all fall into, preachers included. (By which I mean, "me included.") When that happens, we must learn to accept new things with grace, discerning the truth in accordance with the word of God. We can't hold on to beliefs that are false just because they're also cherished.

By the same token, we must never give up truth just because no one else believes in it. As Jonathan Edwards, perhaps the greatest American theologian to ever live (and the greatest preacher before Billy Graham), once wrote, "Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will." Sometimes we will be right when it seems like no one else is. As the world continues to pull away from the Bible, this will be the case more and more.

Beliefs can be reevaluated, but truth can never be changed. Hold fast to that truth. Like Snoopy says, we may be wrong, but God never is.

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