I’ve got a raft of posts that I’m looking forward to putting up, but I felt it good to take a post or two to refresh us on what InFocus is all about.

Our purpose

Our purpose is…

to develop the Australian blogosphere,
….to cultivate serious and useful discussion, and
………to develop a generation of readers, thinkers, and theologians.

The first line reflects our belief that our generation should put the tools that God has given us to good use. The power of the press is well documented. That’s why the most common version of our logo depicts Gutenberg’s original printing press.

I’ll address the third line in next week’s post, God willing. But today, I’d like to focus on the second line.

Serious and useful discussion

InFocus is grounded in the principle that some controversy is worth having. See, as Christians, we love truth. That is fundamental to what it means to be a Christian. Christianity inherently demands love for truth at every level.

Of course the problem is that none of us knows exactly what is true in every area. Certainly, God has revealed much absolute truth to us in the Christian Scriptures.

But God did not always choose to deliver truth in absolute, moral propositions. Instead he chose to reveal truth in a variety of literary genres, languages, locations, times, cultures, and to a variety of people.

This means that we must carefully discern the truth through the lens of our own epistemological, ontological, and hermeneutical understandings. Or to put that simply, it’s not always easy to understand what is true.

Enter controversy

Controversy occurs when people have differing understandings of what is true. Of course controversy can get ugly, but it doesn’t need to.

The kind of controversy that should be common among believers is the kind where two people who genuinely love the truth more than their own positions exchange reasons for the beliefs they hold and critique the reasons given by the other person.

In such an exchange, the participants and the observers cannot but be challenged to think through their understanding of truth more carefully. More precisely. More contextually.

This is beneficial.

Not only is it beneficial, it is necessary. Otherwise, our views become inflexible. Pride takes root and we begin to love our positions more than we love the truth. Being challenged by others who love truth is a grace for which we should thank God.

Rubber, meet road

None of this is particularly revolutionary in the broad Christian context. However, there are some circles of Christianity in Australia where what I just described is viewed not only as revolutionary, but as dangerous.

It is my prayer that InFocus would be a place where those who are passionate about the gospel of Jesus Christ can come together and challenge each other. That we would not seek controversy simply for the sake of controversy, but that we would recognise that some controversy is worth having. And that in that process, we would be able to cultivate serious and useful discussion for the glory of God.

Grace to you.

 

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About Jason Harris

Jason is a writer, pastor, and academic. He has authored multiple books, articles, and papers including his book Theological Meditations on the Gospel. Jason has degrees in theology, music, accounting, and research. He is currently working on his PhD from James Cook University as well as serving as pastor at CrossPoint Church. Jason has lived in Cairns, Australia since 2007. You can contact Jason at jason@jasonharris.com.au.

6 Comments

  1. lumpy 9 September, 2010 at 7:37 am - Reply

    There you go again Jason, poking things that bite. When will you learn?

  2. Kez 9 September, 2010 at 9:24 am - Reply

    At least someone is willing to… =)

  3. Jason Harris 9 September, 2010 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    That is exactly what I’m wondering lumpy!

    I’ll blame it on Alen this time. =D It’s his fault for stirring up all that controversy the other day and making it necessary to think through these things once again.

  4. Apo 9 September, 2010 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    Thanks for that reminder, Jason! It is definitely healthy to be forced to think through a position one may hold through healthy discussions with the aim to edify one another. The opposite of this is arguing, slandering, putting down others and proclaiming that one’s position is better than another’s (especially relating to issues that are NOT fundamental to Christianity but a preference). May we all adopt this spirit of edifying and be humble to change!

  5. Alen Basic 10 September, 2010 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    Me? Controversy? Dear sir I think you have me mistaken for someone else! :)

  6. Jason Harris 10 September, 2010 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    =P

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