Do you ever hear of people or institutions described in the following way:
“Don’t get me wrong, their theology is straight down the line. They’re faithful, biblical, solid, orthodox, sound as a pound. You couldn’t fault them on their teaching… It’s just… Well, they’re not very loving. In fact they’re pretty closed. Cold even. Harsh actually. Come to think of it they’re some of the most hard hearted people I’ve ever met.”
It’s quite common to hear, isn’t it? What do we think is a good response?
My immediate reaction is: Where are these total-gospel Christians with diamond-hard hearts? What kind of gospel must this be? How could ‘solid, orthodox, faithful’ theology produce loveless believers? Do we really think they’ve got their theology right, they just happen to be bearing no gospel fruit?
And what remedy would we propose for such cool-headed, cold-hearted Christians? Do we assume that they already know the gospel and therefore need to be inspired to love via other means? What means?
No. Next time you hear someone say “He/She/They are solid theologically, they’re just not loving”, say “Pish, Tosh, Codswallop, Bunkum and Balderdash!”
They cannot be solid theologically. Maybe once they were. But our gospel is revealed far more clearly in our lives than our credal subscription.
I’m not saying that in depth study of the Athanasian creed guarantees warm-hearted gospel love. I am saying that we should question the common-place label of ‘cold but sound.’ What do you think?