Views. Perspectives. Not the same.

Perspectives are clear or clouded, myopic or complete: we also call them points of view. Views (judgements) are right or wrong in their different parts. The two are not the same. Do not confuse them.

The Elements of Style (1918) says about use of the word “viewpoint”:

Write “point of view”, but do not misuse this, as many do, for “view” or “opinion”.

Perspectives are valid insofar as they allow full view of reality; views are valid insofar as they declare reality. Your perspective can be as valid as someone else’s, while your views can be much more valid or much less valid than the same person’s.

You can use someone else’s perspective, but you cannot accede to his views unless you believe they are more plausible than yours are. Sometimes you will try someone’s perspective and still conclude that his views are terrible, grotesque and much to be opposed, and vigorously, even vehemently.

In all cases of perspective and opinion, though, we must seek to have as much both of God’s perspective and of His truth as possible. Views are not sacrosanct: sooner or later, they must all be diligently judged in light of Scripture and held up to a hard look, so trying to change someone’s views in an accurate interpretation of God’s word does not constitute an imposition.


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