Why Tradition Should Give Us Pause

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Traditions come in many forms. Some traditions are minor, such as opening Christmas presents one at a time, from youngest to oldest. Other traditions, like orthodox Christianity, have much more to them. And on the one hand, it is a good idea to pause and consider why we do certain things in certain ways. Doing or believing something merely for the sake of tradition may prove destructive.

But my best friend made an excellent point over Christmas: "Questioning is fine as long as the purpose is to get to truth. But you must also realize that there are reasons certain ideas have been around for so long." The trick, then, is to recognize truth while being humble enough to follow where it leads.

What my best friend said came to mind as I read a post about Christopher Hitchens and another about the contradictions of the Christmas story. I'm also reminded of my post on prayer from a few years ago that included a link to 10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer. These kinds of questions can be troubling, but I find them exciting.


Because most--if not all--have been answered more-or-less satisfactorily by people far smarter than me. These questions just remind me of when my professor stated that, "Scholars claim that no other passage shows the errors of Scripture more than Luke 2:1-4."* Yes, it can be disorienting at first. But the exploration of these traditions and thoughts reveals truth. And the answers to accusations that we have been "mindless" prove the hubris of the speaker. Perhaps, until we knew the question, we hadn't thought of the issue. But as we dig into these topics, tradition may demonstrate that humility is the proper response.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

*Looking for answers to the Luke 2 problem?

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