The Via Media
I'm reading Adam Hamilton's book, Revival. He says of John Wesley that the two generations of Wesley's family reflected the religious conflicts of the time. His grandfathers were both dissenters from the Anglican Church while his parents were strong supporters of the Anglican Church. Perhaps because of this, "Wesley had the ability to value and listen to people on opposite sides of the theological divide, to find the truth each possessed, and to chart a middle way, embracing both sides." This is the via media - the middle way.
I taught Sunday school last weekend, and the lesson touched on the troubling problem of Church division - from arguments in the church whether about when to wash the tablecloths to how to be inclusive of all of God's children. How do we avoid the division and strife that these arguments can create, while at the same time not ignoring challenging theological issues that need to be addressed? We talked about what it means to love someone through arguments. I think Wesley's via media might offer us clues to that struggle. Do we listen? Do we find the truth each person possesses? Are we willing to believe that other people besides ourselves or those we agree with might possess truth?
Where can we find the via media?
Labels: Hamilton Revival