In seminary we were encouraged—well, required—to read outside our own theological perspective. A few students recoiled a bit. They had been living in a bubble, and those outside it had been mostly ignored, sometimes caricatured, but never directly listened to with the goal of accurate understanding.
Most students relished the wider reading. They’d already learned that curiosity, personal connection, and questioning assumptions can result in life-changing bursts of discovery and personal growth.
… which is why effective educational institutions do that sort of thing.
This personal growth strategy makes sense, but is it biblical? And is this sort of growth Christian growth?
I’ve always loved the biblical record of Peter’s awakening to Gentile ministry, for lots of reasons. Near the top of the list is what it reveals about groupthink, questioning assumptions, and connecting with people outside our bubble.
Being taken outside our bubble is a gift.
Peter’s life-changing journey outside his exclusively-Jewish ministry bubble began at God’s initiative—probably because Peter would never have done it himself. We read in Acts 10: