I love listening to sports talk radio. Hearing an expert break down a crucial play is captivating and discovering the latest news about my favorite team is exciting.
But sports radio’s biggest attraction, in my opinion, is the caller-driven format. Fans love to hear the opinions of other fans –especially from the more passionate callers.
The accepted terms for these types of callers are “armchair quarterbacks” and “Monday-morning quarterbacks.” The idea is that, although not actual players or coaches, they act as if they are experts.
Over the past few years, armchair pastors and theologians have found a platform. Instead of calling radio programs, these would-be experts communicate as bloggers (like me). Just like sports radio is good for sports, bloggers are great for discussing the church and theology.
However, it is important to keep a few things in mind:
- Not everyone who blogs is an expert. (I place myself in the non-expert category.) Read broadly, but be very careful whom you trust.
- No expert is 100% right all the time. For those who are experts, we must remember they are still human. Be diligent in studying for yourself. Allow bloggers to give your study direction, but don’t settle for blindly accepting their answers. Be like the Bereans who “examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11). If they were examining what Paul was preaching, surely we should all be examining the teachings of our favorite bloggers today!
- Discussion is good. We learn through the interaction of ideas. Discussion allows points to be questioned, clarified, tested, and resolved.
- Scripture is the ultimate standard. The problem lies in in allowing the issue to be settled based upon the best rhetoric, most popular opinion, cultural bias, or strongest personality. Instead, the only standard that matters is God’s Word.
Just like in sport-radio, discernment is the key to determining whether discussion is useful or wasteful. Of course, when it comes to the church, theology, and the gospel, the stakes are much higher than in the sports world. The most dangerous false prophets are those who are the most difficult to distinguish from men who are faithful to the teachings of Scripture. And, the smallest false teaching (no matter how inconsequential it may seem) is like a small crack in concrete. Over time, it can ruin a foundation and compromise an entire structure.
So be discerning, and when necessary, turn the dial!