All men are fallible. We all err in many ways, even in our doctrine. Yet, this should not give us reason to eschew theology. Rather, we should pursue a knowledge of the truth with a humble earnestness.
Remember that all men on earth are ignorant, and know but as in a glass, and in part, and therefore the best have many errors; no man knoweth the smallest grass or worm with an adequate perfect knowledge. And if God bear with multitudes of error in us all, we must bear with such as are tolerable in each other; it is well if men be humble, and teachable, and willing to know. As we have seen few more imperfect than the sects that have asserted sinless perfection, so we see few so fallible and erroneous as the Roman sect, which pleadeth their infallibility; when they tell you that you must believe their popes and councils, that you may come to an end of controversy, ask them whether we may here hope of ending all controversies before we come to heaven, where ignorance is ended? The controversies against the essentials of Christianity were ended with us all when we become true and adult Christians, and the rest will be lessened as we grow in knowledge. Divinity is not less mysterious than law and physic, &c., where controversies abound.
Yet stint not yourselves in knowledge, nor say, “We have learned enough,” but continue as Christ’s scholars in learning more and more to the death; the wisest know little, and may still increase. There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort, between men of clear, digested knowledge, and confused undigested apprehensions.
- Richard Baxter, The Cure of Melancholy and Overmuch Sorrow