Quote taken from OSS’ blog ‘How Shallow Are You Today?‘.
“The Bible talks about the person and work of Christ and also about how widows should be regarded in the church. The first of those subjects is much more foundational. Without it the secondary teachings don’t make sense.” (Tim Keller)
I am not a fan of this 2 tier system he is developing here. It seems like, to me, he is trying to separate categories of importance along the lines of:
(a) Beliefs about Christ are very important (doctrinal statements)
(b) Teachings of Christ are not as important (straight from the gospels)
The problem for me is an old and beleaguered point concerning the term belief and its applicable definition. It seems the author believes the importance should be given to the beliefs a person holds (ie: God is 3 in 1) that really are not beliefs at all. My explanation again concerning biblical ‘belief’.
When the authors of the bible use the term ‘belief’ they seem to be addressing the a dual idea – thought and action. If I say I am going to ‘treat you like a king’ (belief/thought) and then treat you like a ‘beggar’ (action) – I do not actually believe what I think I believe – this is shown in my actions.
I think the author, is this Tim Keller?, is going down the path to ‘belief disconnect’ for his hearers. This is when we start seeing Christians becoming hypocrites – because they value doctrinal statements (holding correct ideologies) over and above their own actions towards other people (beliefs).
**This raised a big question for me concerning the idea of ‘belief disconnect’ – is it causing good Christian people to behave in ways that is inexcusable for someone under the tutolage of Jesus? It is allowing Christians to act in contradictory ways to the teachings – those are secondary after all – as long as they keep the correct set of beliefs concerning God (correct being whatever the denomination says is correct). I contend – Christianity is slowly beocming hypocritcal…maybe?