Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance. –G.K. Chesterton
Is it possible that broadmindedness and having an open mind could conceal not having much of a mind at all? To think, to engage, to believe and to explore requires a certain discipline and a point of reference. Whether you believe in John Locke’s tabula rosa, or blank slate or not, one thing is for sure. The slate does not stay blank for long!
I’ve been reading off and on throughout the day a lot of theology. Martin Luther, Karl Barth, and Miroslav Volf–if you are interested. And I have found myself stretched to think in new ways about God–particularly what it means to say that God is One! But what I find really interesting is how important it is to know what you believe. If you don’t know what you believe then you be, as the writer of James in the New Testament declares– “driven and tossed by the wind!” (James 1.6)
This does not mean that you can’t change you mind, that somehow or another belief is supposed to be cast in stone, unyielding to new discoveries. If that were the case we would need to come up with another word to describe what we are talking about–and what we would need to call you. The word “robot” comes to mind and then we could speak of “programming” instead of belief.
No, the remarkable thing about belief–the things and ideas and people that we trust in and act upon–is that belief is muscular and alive. It can grow and change and develop. That is what is truly about being a believer; you are invited into a way of life that takes ideas and convictions that shape life choices. And in the living and doing of life’s choices, belief grows.
Don’t hide between a pseudo-sense of broadmindedness. Grab hold of an idea and test it.
Perhaps that is why for Christians we focus on Jesus; if you want something (or someone) to grab hold of and see what difference it makes for your life and for our world, just give it a try.
–Carson E. Reed