Such is the way of Christendom. Take up our crosses and follow Jesus as we take on ourselves the mental anguish associated with apologetic work or arduous debate with other believers. We’ve reversed the importance of mental acuity and the importance of obedience. I come from a homeschooling background and within this sphere/sub-culture there exists potential for great feats within the public realm of discourse (namely, the meaningless circus known as politics or media culture) mostly because homeschooled kids have a ton of mental agility and think well. It’s drilled into us in some of the more popular curriculum and in our obsession with things like TeenPact and debate clubs. I come from this background and am slowly learning, albeit very slowly, the impotence of these discourses on eschatology and whether or not paedobaptism is biblical or not.
Now, I admit. I enjoy a good discussion. And the bible is to be dealt with in community and some of these debates and arguments are fun. But where in the bible do we find a debate on the most inane of topics? Nowhere. Yes, St. Paul (primarily), in his letters calls out fools and people who would do damage to the Church but then goes on to teach those churches how to live in this world. Jesus doesn’t give two rips if you’re a Calvinist, Pelagian or not. In fact, while doctrinal orthodoxy (which is too often a phrase for “fortress theology”) is important (doctrine does motivate and move when presented right), the importance of praxis is being undermined. Sure, Reformed folk of the theonomic stripe argue for the “Regulative Principle of Worship” which basically is a how to guide for worship from the bible, but most times the bible doesn’t care for specific on how you embody the way of Jesus. In fact, the bible is more concerned that you actually do embody the Way and learn.
Look. All this is coming from the mouth of a guy whose probably going to major in philosophy in college. I love arguing, discussing, and debating trivial things. But it’s becoming apparent to me that unless those seemingly trivial ideas can become practiced then I am basically blowing steam into an area of nada. If it cannot be practiced it is, almost always, an meaningless waste of time.