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Clark Pinnock was a controversial theologian who could get strong challenges from colleagues on both his right and left. Pinnock, who died Sunday at age 73, spent some of his teaching years among Baptists.

He traveled some theological distances during his career and never feared change. That, as one could imagine, wouldn’t keep him in Southern Baptist theological education.

According to an article in Christianity Today, Pinnock said he preferred to be known, “not as one who has the courage of his convictions, but one who has the courage to question them and to change old opinions which need changing.”

I like that perspective. It reminds me of some good advice my own late seminary theology professor John Eddins once said: “Hold on to what you believe until you find something better to replace it.”

There seem to be two dangers worth avoiding. One is to be blown about by every changing wind. The other is to put all early conclusions in concrete and shut off the searching, re-evaluation process for rest of our lives.

Open minds — when matched with open hearts — are good gifts.

[Photo taken on Frazier Ave. in Chattanooga, Tenn.]

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