We are called to be united in Christ. We are not called to be united in culture. On the contrary, the book of Revelation looks forward to the best that each and every culture has to offer being brought under the lordship of Christ. There should be no such thing as Christian music styles and … Continue reading Are we dancing to the tune of Jesus?
In his letter to the Romans the apostle Paul declares “One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for … Continue reading Unity does not require uniformity
I have been giving a lot of consideration lately to the political divisions within the church and it has got me wondering if the Christological heresies of the past haven’t disappeared so much as taken on new guises. Conservatives show some distinct Docetic and Apollinarian tendencies at times. They can be much stronger on the … Continue reading Political divisions within the church
I think most Christians recognize that not all beliefs they hold are of equal of importance. Firstly there are those beliefs that Christians throughout history have considered essential to authentic Christianity. Consider, for instance, that the New Testament Canon and the Nicene Creed are affirmed for the most part by Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant traditions … Continue reading Even where we disagree, could we agree on which issues are less important?
How do we tell which aspects of Christianity are more central and which aspects are most peripheral? Well one clue is to look at which aspects the Jesus and the apostles changed to suit the situation and which aspects they emphasised whatever the situation. Take for example the preaching of the gospel in the book … Continue reading Christianity in many contexts
Have you ever read The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus? If you haven’t you should, as it includes ancient commentary on Christian unity and cultural diversity that is just as relevant for today as it was when it was written in the second century. Mathetes (which means disciple in ancient Greek) has this to say: … Continue reading An ancient commentary on Christian unity and cultural diversity
What does it mean to be a unified Christian community? It's interesting to note that when the issue of unity comes up in the Acts of the Apostles, musical conformity NEVER rates a mention. Nor does language, dress, social structure or even, dare I say it, theology. So what does rate a mention? Read it … Continue reading Unity in Community
Lately I’ve been wondering if trying to educate mainstream Christians about contextualisation is a bit wrong headed. Besides the fact that it burns you out (I say this from experience), the reality is traditional-contemporary churches already are contextualized for their constituencies – the increasingly marginalized pool of modernists in western society. They don’t talk about … Continue reading Faux unity