Recently more than one professor has said something like “I think your instinct is right on this point,” or “you have good instincts, so follow them,” to me in relation to doing theology. This, as far as i can remember, is a novel compliment.
While I think these types of statements are meant as genuine affirmations and/or encouragement (which I’m always grateful for), I am still troubled a bit by them. Instincts can be vague after all, so I wonder if this encouragement also implies that the ability to speak with clarity on certain concepts, topics, etc still eludes me. On the other hand, the skill of discerning important issues or relevant connections in theology cannot be developed by being able to merely ascertain and explain a theological view. So if they’re complimenting me for having a “theological 6th sense,” this could be the greatest compliment of all.
Or it could be that I’m over-thinking this and should just be pleased with the compliment.