Monday, August 16, 2010

chewing, spitting, & learning from EVERYBODY (repost)

(I originally wrote and posted this on January 16, 2008. I just went back and read it and am a little surprised at how different my writing style was way back then. interesting... i still like what i said back then though, so here it is again. Gabe Lyons even commented on the original post which you can read HERE. that was pretty cool.)

I LOVE to learn! It’s one of my favorite things in the world to do. I want to say for the record that I can & will learn from everybody! I learned long ago to “chew up the meat and spit out the bones.” I’m not influenced negatively by learning from such a broad spectrum of people; I’m simply challenged and stretched. There are a lot of people who have a lot of good things to say & I want to learn from them all.

My whole life people have warned me not to read or listen to certain people because they might “win me over” to their side. I want the truth. If that person is right and has the truth then maybe we should all be “won over” to their side. If they’re wrong then I’ll spit out the bones and walk away with whatever is good. In college every time a professor told us that a certain author or book was “dangerous” or that we should stay away from it, I immediately got the book and read it. I learned a lot of good stuff from those “bad” authors.

Also, in my humble opinion, people need to stop bashing authors, pastors, etc… for what they’re teaching until they read and/or hear it straight from them. Stop reading what their enemies say is wrong with them & read for yourself what they have to say! Don’t just take someone’s word for it. There are a lot of Christians bashing other Christians right now… but very few of them have taken the time to really hear what the other side is saying. Instead they take someone’s word for it – their teacher, pastor, or friend. I don’t think my generation as a whole will be satisfied with this approach. We want to know for ourselves. I think that’s part of why some circles will die off over the next few generations (fundamentalism for example).

I don’t have to agree with everything someone says to learn from them. So, when you see me quoting people or mentioning people on this blog it’s not necessarily because I agree with everything they say… in fact, I might disagree with half of what they say, but I’ve probably learned at least one good thing from that person. So, just because you think the person I quote is a heretic doesn’t mean I’m a heretic too—hopefully I’m not.

I want to learn from all cultures, all theological traditions, and people from all socioeconomic and denominational backgrounds. So, I really don’t care if someone is democrat/republican, charismatic/cessationist, dispensational/covenant, Calvinist/arminian, Presbyterian/non-denominational, mystic/scholastic, liberal/conservative, etc… That’s why I can learn from Rick Warren one day and then read a John Macarthur (doesn’t care for Rick all that much to put it nicely) commentary the next. This is why I’ve been able to learn a lot from both Piper & Mclaren, even though the two are obviously not best buds. This is why I like reading Calvin & Edwards, but also Wesley & C.S. Lewis. I like learning from a pretty broad spectrum of people. I feel that I learn more and can be more effective in spreading the fame of Jesus when I do this. I recommend that you do the same.

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