In Gary Tandy’s “The Problem with Certitude” he brings up the idea that Christians are not open to letting their beliefs evolve, but they should be. I totally agree with this point.
For the most part, Christians believe something and continue to defend it without being open to other people altering what they think. Some people believe something for so long they don’t even know where it came from and don’t have scripture to back it up. Regardless, they can’t imagine their thoughts being wrong. No one really knows what is “right” or “wrong.” It is something we try to understand and figure out with the bible as our source of information. The problem is that the bible often contradicts itself or says one thing for a time period and then changes later on. It’s hard to really understand the meaning of the bible. Context is key. However, even with a solid contextual understanding, the bible is difficult to interpret. We are called to serve God. We aren’t called to completely understand the bible. However, to understand God better we are to look at the scriptures and pray. All anyone can to is their best. We have to live believing what we think to be truth. So in that way, we should be confident in our beliefs.
On the other hand, we should be open to others changing what we think because we might not have all the details. The problem here is that changing what you believe can make it seems as though you were wrong before. But we need to be open to letting new knowledge evolve our beliefs. We can only act and live under what we know. It isn’t “wrong” to do your best with the knowledge you have. But when someone enlightens you to a new idea that can change what you think, you should be open.
One problem is that often people use the bible out of context to prove a point they already believe rather than letting the bible evolve their beliefs.
Something to consider is if someone brings up an opinion or idea from the bible you don’t agree with, it can make your faith stronger as well. Sometimes someone addressing the opposing view makes you defend your faith and really consider what you believe. It might even encourage you to dive into your bible and learn more. It makes you take your faith into your own hands and develop it for yourself.
Also, it is possible to believe some of what is said and not all of it. The most important thing is to listen to what others have to say and be open to letting it affect you. We should feel free to use the insight of others to shape what we believe.