Last night my wife and I were discussing the Trinity. The Disciples of Christ professes to have “no creed but Christ,” and therefore, it is not surprising that some in our church do not accept the doctrine. In the discussion, I realized that, despite my liberal theology, I tend to keep standard beliefs as long as I can. So, I’m slow to reject the Trinity. I tend think that these ideas that remain after thousands of years of Christian thinking & praying are likely to contain some truth, and I try to seek out that truth.
Now, at some point I can no longer accept an idea. Most recently this was the case with a very narrow, but significant, aspect of intercessory prayer. I have come to the conclusion that I do not believe that praying to God will cause God to miraculously (which is to say in violation of the rules that govern our physical universe) act. Like I said, it is a narrow conclusion. But I only came to it after much searching for a way to preserve the long held notion that God can grant requests for extra-natural intervention.
There is a legal philosophy that I fell in and out of love with while in law school called judicial minimalism. The idea is that judges should only do what is absolutely necessary to decide the case before them, and no more. Cass Sunstein is a the poster child for the seemingly value neutral movement. I think my caution in rejecting a dogmatic principle I once accepted, or that many Christians accept, is a religious analog to judicial minimalism.
Are you slow to reject an old belief? Will you work hard to maintain a dogma (spiritual or otherwise), or do you think after the scale in your mind tips to 51% against the idea you reject it?