Should Christians Avoid Apostate Literature In All Instances?
In discussing how Christians grow over time, an Evangelical broadcaster remarked that in going through some old books he came across a couple of titles by Tony Campolo he had read about fifteen years ago.
The broadcaster confessed that, given what he knows of Campolo and the Word of God today, he would probably no longer read anything by Campolo.
Most Christians grounded in the Word of God and sound theology realize that Campolo is a borderline apostate if he hasn't already crossed over the line altogether.
If someone wants to avoid Campolo's works, so be it.
That's one's right in a free society.
However, such a proclamation in such a manner as to create the impression that no one ought to read these kinds of works under any circumstances if they want to retain good standing as a member of the broader conservative Evangelical community goes a bit overboard.
Regarding religious leftists such as Tony Campolo, should one decide to read works by such an author, the discerning must remain cautious to subtle error that says as much by what it does not say as by what it does say.
In other words, sometimes you have got to read between the lines.
But unless we ourselves conduct our own research or, perhaps more importantly are encouraged ourselves to do so, how can we be sure that those stymieing individual reflection and curiosity aren't simply out to control us for their own assorted ends?
The call to be like the Bereans requires nothing short of such sanctified suspicion on our own parts.
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. Frederick holds a BS in Political Science/History, a MA in Apologetics/Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Christian Apologetics from Newburgh Theological Seminary.