The Ever-Present Athenians

By Allen Cantrell


The Athenians were the cutting edge philosophers/theologians of their day. They dared not be dogmatic about doctrine. No, No. They were too large-hearted and open-minded to have convictions. They dialogued and debated, queried and quibbled; then they congratulated themselves on their intellectual jousting and called it a draw. Everyone was a winner. They all enjoyed the oratory. Everyone felt good about their own views.They smiled congenially. They slapped each other on the back. Then they would do it again tomorrow.

I see a common ground between the Athenians and today’s Liberal/ Emergent Church.

Opinions are in.  Doctrinal dogma is out. (After all, “doctrine divides”. Yes thank God! Doctrine divides the true from the false, the light from the darkness, the nourishing food from the poison.)

Discussing is in.  Preaching with conviction and biblical authority is out.

Novelty is in. A fixed standard based on a Divinely-given canon is out.

Questioning is in. Certainty is out.

“What do you think/feel?”  is in. “What does God’s Book say?”  is out.

The Athenians are still with us today. Maybe they should change their names to reflect their Athenian viewpoint.  How about “The Athenian Assembly Of The Unpersuaded”, or maybe “First Community Church of Nonconclusions” or “The Too Humble To Be Bold Fellowship”.

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