The short answer to why I’ve started a blog is because it’s easier not to. Another reason is because I think I’ll love people better if I do. If that’s not clear, here’s Carl Trueman writing about why he believes Christians should have creeds:
I do want to make the point here that Christians are not divided between those who have creeds and confessions and those who do not; rather, they are divided between those who have public creeds and confessions that are written down and exist as public documents, subject to public scrutiny, evaluation, and critique, and those who have private creeds and confessions that are often improvised, unwritten, and thus not open to public scrutiny, not susceptible to evaluation and, crucially and ironically, not, therefore, subject to testing by Scripture to see whether they are true. (The Creedal Imperative, 15.)
In other words, the act of submitting your ideas to other people allows those ideas to be weighed rather than to sit in your brain and mildew. Trueman writes to correct the church’s collective understanding of doctrine or practice, but the idea carries over to the individual as well.
True, friends can be an answer to this sort of thing. And I hope they will be. But no friend can read everything that you read and listen to what you listen to and then have time to work through it with you in conversation. You’ve got to sum things up and learn from each other. This will be a part of that.
And love? Paul writes in 1 Timothy 1:5, “the aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” Ideas left to mildew don’t inspire a sincere faith, they make for defensiveness. They may even be right and accurate ideas, but if they haven’t been examined, they become so much kindling for a culture war. Without knowing what you know and how you can know it (sincere faith), it’s impossible to have a good conscience about what you say you believe (how could you?), so your actions start betraying your faith—that is, consistency is lost because you have no bearing on what standards you’re meant to be consistent with. Could anyone living in such a way be described as having a pure heart? And so tending to what you believe and why you believe it is a way to tend the garden in which love grows. It’s why I’m trying to go to seminary and why I’ve started this blog.