“In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right,
until someone comes forward and cross-examines.”
Proverbs 18:17 (NIV)
Although this proverb applies to legal matters, there is a principle we can gather from it for all of life. How often in the course of our lives have we been convinced by a presentation or argument without investigating the matter thoroughly or even at all? We fail to take into consideration other factors which may tip the scales the opposite way. What we’ve heard sounds right and conclusive so that we are taken in.
Wisdom too often gained by failure (I speak for myself) comes into play here. We often need to slow down and even stop. Part of the fallacy is to proceed on. How many times in previous years would I have been better off to at least sleep on something overnight. But the ones who put together or do the presentation know that. So a special deal is offered if you sign now.
The importance of reserving judgment plays across the board in nearly every direction. The one non negotiable for me is the commitment to follow Jesus within the bounds of the orthodox Christian faith. Other matters may or may not become more or less settled over time. So that one can add to their understanding. While other things may by and by become less important or chucked altogether. I want to add here that Christian theology while settled in some ways is a living even growing dynamic.
A humble critical realist approach is really what’s needed. One in which expectations are set according to the weight given quantitatively and qualitatively in the matter. So that for example I can appreciate living in a liberal democracy while not equating it with God’s kingdom come in Jesus.
While appreciating lesser things for what they are, we can go full bore in our calling in faith, confident that what is of God will continue on and bear fruit in this life and the life to come in and through Jesus.