I'm standing in the packed Guinness Storehouse after a day of sightseeing with the family. I've turned in my token for a soda because I hate the taste of alcohol and I've got this wheat sensitivity thing. The tour was interesting, though it felt more like a trip to Ikea than, say, the old Coors tours. And now I'm tired and ready to eat some dinner before heading off to bed.
There are people everywhere. The alcohol and crowds make conversations a little more boisterous than on the streets outside.
The years have robbed my memory of any specific conversations I may have noticed then. But I'm sure that in the crowded room there must have been at least one debate, discussion or disagreement. I'm sure that somewhere in that room, over the pints of dark, swirling liquid, a pair of minds were clashing. Had I been privy to the conversation, and known enough to follow along, I'm sure I would have agreed with one, then the other, then the first again.
Why? Because, unless I have a very firm belief about something, I tend to be swayed by the latest information given. Proverbs speaks of this. If you present a strong case, it sounds good to me. If you are countered with an even stronger idea, that sounds even better. Counter that again and, well...
I'll likely get to one of two points: Decide I like one side over the other--for any number of reasons--or decide that I won't figure it out for a long, long time and that the issue isn't settled. You could keep going back and forth with your friend and I would wander off to eavesdrop on another group.
And in my blog wanderings today, I came across this post. While the post itself was interesting to me--since it concerned an event held at my Alma Mater--the comments were even more noteworthy. I found myself reading along and thinking, 'Oohh! Sting!' and then, with the rebuttal, thinking, 'He's got him now!' only to read the next response.
On and on it went.
Eventually, my head was spinning as if I'd imbibed a stein or two of Guinness. It reminded me of a post I'd read just a few minutes before about why Christians get so upset by Old-Earth views. We Christians like neat and tidy answers. We like to know we're teaching our children the Truth. And all this back and forth is maddening, frustrating and more than a little intimidating. In short order we're ready for some dinner and bed.
As the social face of Sonlight, I find myself in between two groups. One side decries our science materials as lies from the Pit of Willful Ignorance, and the other side worries that we do not come down hard enough against the lies of Scientific Propaganda. Here I sit, watching the back and forth, and I'm glad for Sonlight's science programs. In fact, I'm glad for Sonlight's educational philosophy which influences all of our programs:
We're here to educate, not indoctrinate.
When people have been indoctrinated--which, sadly, some equate with education--they are unwilling to accept the possibility of tension. The facts and figures and ideas others toss their way must be shot down as lies and false. May we never get there. The fact that Jesus spent time realigning His listener's interpretation of Scripture is caution enough for me to hold my ideas with humility.
There comes a point, however, where we must--for the time being--decide where we stand today. We like a particular side--for any number of reasons--and that's where we stand. The issue may not be settled yet, but we're happy where we are.
May we always seek the Truth. May we always be open to learning more. And may we rest peacefully where we are with an open ear to the two sides of the conversation around us. Because, if we are always willing to learn, we will find the Truth. ...it just may take a little longer than we'd wish. The good news is that, as Sonlighters, we've got our whole lives to learn.
Filmmaker, Writer, Surrogate Father