"So: if we speak the truth, but without love, we won't grow. And if we love, but are not truthful, we won't grow."

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Aaron Blumer's picture

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But some of the issues over those posts seem similar. If I can't say I wish Mohler had handled an encounter differently (as I do) and, at the same time, say I think he's a great guy and a heroic figure... then where are we heading? We're heading towards a world where nothing but unconditional approval of everything everybody does is the only "loving" choice.

He later says getting truth and love together is probably impossible but we must pursue it.
I don't think it's impossible at all. Difficult at times. But not even consistently difficult. If you know the truth helps people and you are trying to get the truth out with that goal, you are speaking the truth in love. It really has little (nothing?) to do with how people perceive it. (My son still thinks it's hateful that we make him go to bed when he doesn't want to.)

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
He later says getting truth and love together is probably impossible but we must pursue it.
I don't think it's impossible at all. Difficult at times. But not even consistently difficult. If you know the truth helps people and you are trying to get the truth out with that goal, you are speaking the truth in love. It really has little (nothing?) to do with how people perceive it. (My son still thinks it's hateful that we make him go to bed when he doesn't want to.)

It might seem strange to some that Dan Phillips would, on the one hand articulate knowledge and/or understanding of some points of Scripture in a modestly proficient manner which elevates him to the figure of Teacher but on the other hand sometimes mishandles even basic matters such as these which produces odd assertions like this one. I suspect it has to do with some of what you are saying, Aaron, which is the idea that speaking the truth in love essentially considers "how people perceive it" therefore, Dan Phillips is believing this to be "probably impossible". And if that is the case then of course it is impossible because one now makes love and truth to be revolving around everyone else's perception and not your own spiritual objectivity which is quite possible. We can know what truth is and we can know what love is and we can exercise both in a conjoined manner without a great deal of complexity qualifying it.

While "perception is reality" may be true in an experiential sense, that is, what someone perceives to be true is really true to them, we do not adjust our aim for what may be the erring perceptions but aim with the biblical facts. So when they fight back with accusations that it was truth without love or it was love without truth, we can only be sure because we are confident that we began with both elements. Certainly we ought always audit ourselves with regard to considerate objections but such auditing does not speak to the possibility or impossibility of truth/love actions, just to each particular occasion one may or may not succeed.

I do not find it impossible, myself, especially if we are commanded to do so rather regularly. I certainly cannot say I have not and do not always and without exception, obey with imperative, but I certainly know I have and will on many occasions. This imperative from God assumes it to be, at some point, a regular feature of our Christian character. Maybe it is "probably impossible" to convince everyone observing your truth/love expression that it is so, hardly any man convinces all the people all the time, but it certainly does not make it impossible to do so, in fact.