Okay, so let’s say, hypothetically, that you were going to write a in a theological journal on a particular doctrine or an essay for school or whatever. It’s a hypothetical so make it whatever you want.
Question: What resources would you list in your bibliography?
Our primary resource is the bible; that is unquestioned. And we do not use outside resources to correct God’s holy text. Now for the big “However”. It is vital that we check ourselves (not the text) with the work of others.
Question: Am I the only person in church history who espouses this particular teaching?
If you are, that does not mean you are wrong. I say keep asking questions. Keep digging. Continue to break new ground. However, if you are among only one or two in church history to have unlocked this particular truth, it should at least give you pause.
Speculative theology is good and healthy for any student of the Word. Some of my fondest memories are my buddies and I exploring the Word like spelunkers with flashlights. Just be careful when claiming you’ve actually found something. Be careful you’re not shovelling pyrite for doctrine.
Let me propose something just to get you thinking. Think about your core doctrines. A great exercise for any theologian, even if you are not writing anything, is to build a solid bibliography for your foundational teachings. Let’s say you hold to the doctrine that cats are actually Satan’s minions. Who would you suggest I read on that subject? If someone forced you to create a reading list on the cats doctrine; who would be on it?
Again, you should think outside the lines and truly explore the scriptures. It is amazing. But you need to check yourself against the minds of others. Remember, we cannot push the boundaries if we don’t know what they are.
We cannot push the boundaries if we do not know what they are.