Jury Duty and Church Councils

So how about a slightly less random post from my jury duty experience.

I was thinking about how I feel I understand the early church councils better after my experience as a juror. The duty of the jury is to listen to all the evidence, both direct and circumstantial, and then try to arrive at what the truth of what happened really was.

The early church fathers had to do similar things. They had some direct evidence, the sayings of Jesus and what he did, but there was also a lot of circumstantial evidence. As most of us have heard before, the word trinity isn't in the Bible. And things we accept today, like that Jesus is fully human and fully God, were totally settled all at first either.

When we were deliberating, it started out about half and half, guilty and not guilty. Then we started talking and talked some more. That talking helped us think about things differently. Then some people changed their minds. But there are a couple of people who have really strong opinions for opposite sides and you worry that you will never make a decision. Then you take a break and that helps you process stuff in your own mind some. Then you vote again to see where we are at and maybe it is a little bit closer and more people don't really know. And you talk some more about why you think the way you do. And then some people have changed their minds back. Then we wrote out a time line to look for inconsistencies. And a list of the evidence for his guilt. And you talk some more and maybe take a couple more breaks. Then eventually everyone has the same vote. And you are excited because it all worked out!

I can imagine the early discussion being similar to that experience. Its so easy for us to just assume that we have always know how things like the trinity worked out, but it wasn't so easy. It took talking and discussion. It took people thinking and putting together various facts. And then talking some more. I would imagine that some people changed their minds and back and back again. And then you talk some more and more. And then finally there is a council and something is decided. And everyone is excited.

It all just seems to make a little more sense now.

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