Read an interesting comment in an interview wifh American theologian and historian Carl Trueman the other day. Talking about the issue of truth and doctrine he says ‘There are some things that it is more important to be wrong about than to think that they are not important. It’s better to lack complete clarity over baptism than to say it doesn’ matter.’
I essentially agree with this statement, but I think the rubber really hits the road when you decide what to do about those issues that you think are important but over which you lack complete clarity. ‘Do you say it’s my way or the highway’ or do you say ‘I come down on the opposite side of the fence to you, but I can work with you.’
I think the Bible actually gives us some guidance on which approach you take with which doctrines. Eg, Colossians seems to make it pretty clear that if people are adding stuff to the Gospel and undermining the sufficiency of Christ then that is a ‘God’s way (as far as I can determine it) or the highway’ kind of issue. Unlike Trueman I’m not so sure that baptism is one of those issues – at least not the things Protestants have divided over about baptism (adult/infant, immersion/sprinkling). Can’t see any verses that get really fired up about those things, or any essential doctrines that hang on them. But maybe I’m missing something.