Thursday, January 22

The devil is in the details

From J. Mark Bertrand, on the value of nit-picking, or as he calls it--hairsplitting:

Some mistakes seem trivial but lead to significant thought shifts. Paul teaches salvation by grace through faith apart from works. Then someone comes along and says salvation is by grace, but our works are a pre-condition for God’s grace. He might never imagine a gospel of works, but his students will soon rationalize the system and arrive at precisely that. What begins as a seemingly trivial mistake ends in an egregious error.

And that’s why we need hair-splitters. That’s why we need people who will suffer the shrugs and sighs to insist that Christians speak with precision when they deal with doctrinal truth. We need people who care about the jots and tittles, who aren’t afraid to delve into the minutiae of the faith, who are willing to keep a thousand seemingly-pointless distinctions in the proper logical sequence.