Mercy Street Church of Christ
Abilene, TX
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A Parable of Freedom

A parable of freedom...
Let me develop a little parable. It uses flight as a
picture of freedom (memories of Jonathan Livingstone
Seagull!) and seeks to characterize (not, I hope,
caricature) the essential difference between the
fundamentalist, the liberal and the evangelical.

The fundamentalist seems to me to resemble a caged bird,
which possesses the capacity for flight, but lacks the
freedom to use it. For the fundamentalist mind is confined
or caged by an over-literal interpretation of Scripture,
and by the strict traditions and conventions into which
this has led him. He is not at liberty to question these,
or to explore alternative, equally faithful ways of
applying Scripture to the modern world, for he cannot
escape from his cage.

The liberal seems to me to resemble (no offense meant!) a
gas-filled balloon, which takes off and rises into the air,
buoyant, free, directed only by its own built-in
navigational responses to wind and pressure, but entirely
unrestrained from earth. For the liberal mind has no
anchorage; it is accountable only to itself.

The evangelical seems to me to resemble a kite, which can
also take off, fly great distances and soar to great
heights, while all the time being tethered to earth. For
the evangelical mind is held by revelation. Without doubt
it often needs a longer string, for we are not renowned for
creative thinking. Nevertheless, at least in the ideal, I
see evangelicals as finding true freedom under the
authority of revealed truth, and combining a radical
mindset and lifestyle with a conservative commitment to
Scripture.

grace and peace to you,

For Mercy Street Ministries, I'm Stan Baldwin.



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