If any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know (I Corinthians 8:2).
I have always been a seeker of the truth. This means that I have embraced the need to be adjustable. I know people who are proud that they have held the exact same doctrinal understandings for 20, 30, 40, 50 years. This is not a badge of honor to me. I continue to learn and grow. My beliefs have continued to change drastically over the years.
Anyone wanting to see this in my own life only needs to leaf through the 20 years of Bible Student’s Notebook. They clearly attest to the flexibleness of my heart toward truth.
My books are not written in stone. I have never viewed them that way. They are written on paper – and on-demand paper at that. I do not have a stockpile of them. The beauty of on-demand printing is that I have my books printed as they are needed.
For me, on-demand printing is perfect for my lack of money for stock, and also – and probably more importantly – it allows me to make changes, adjustments, corrections, additions and/or deletions between ordering individual copies. Believe me, I have taken advantage of this freedom!
It seems that almost every time that I re-read something which I have written, there is a change that I would like to make. So, on-demand printing is perfect for me. My books go through many editions, even in a single year. I consider them “living” books, rather than “dead” set–in-stone books.
Norman Grubb (1895-1993) has written in this regard:
I don’t know if every writer on the things of the Spirit has the same problem – no sooner have I completed one manuscript than I see this … and this … and this … which could be put much more clearly, or whole areas of insights which should be added. I feel like the automobile dealers who must produce a new model each year! – God Unlimited
So, do my current writings contain mistakes and errors? Absolutely! Where? I don’t know yet. Over the years, as I see more and more truth, I correct my writings. Will you find “errors” in my writings that I do not see? Probably. Will I correct these “errors”? If you show them to me from Scripture and I can see them for myself from Scripture.
Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind (Romans 14:5).
What if you see something in my writing with which you disagree? Disregard them, if it is by faith in the Scriptures that you disagree with them; as I will do with your assertion that they are “error,” if I can’t see that they are indeed “error” by faith in the Scriptures. What will be my response if we differ? I will receive you, as Christ has received me.
Receive each other, as Christ has received us to the glory of God (Romans 15:7).
Martin Luther (1483-1546), on trial before the Diet of Worms, was asked by the Inquisitor:
Doest thou admit that these books are written by thee?
Wilt thou retract these books and their contents, or doest thou persist in the things thou hast advanced?
To which Luther replied:
Unless I can be convicted of error by the Holy Scripture, I neither can nor dare retract anything, for my conscience is held captive by God’s Word. Here I stand, I can do not otherwise; so God help me. Amen.
One day I must stand before the Lord to give an account. I can’t stand before Him and tell Him that I simply did what somebody else wanted me to do. I must stand before Him, having lived in the truth that I have seen.
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God (Romans 14:12).
My love to each of you.
Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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