We must distinguish!

Chris Watson Lee wants to help us talk about our disagreements over ‘secondary issues.’ The nature of the disagreement should affect the way in which we deal with it. Christians have disagreed with one another since the earliest days of the church (Philippians 1:27); this side of eternity, there are always going to be disagreements and differences. But how should we engage with theological differences? In the words of a Reformed scholastic like Francis Turretin, “we must distinguish” between different kinds of disagreement. The nature of the disagreement will (or at least should) affect the way in which we deal with it. This is not a new insight: you might be familiar with the old maxim, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” It reminds us that before rushing in to debate our disagreements, we must check ourselves – aiming for a humble attitude, dependence on the Lord, and love for others (Ephesians 4:1-16) Distinguishing Disagreements We

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Judgmentalism

My thanks to Andy Naselli for posting this excellent excerpt: Judgmentalism That’s the title of chapter 17 in Jerry Bridges. Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2007. 185 pp. Introduction The sin of judgmentalism is one of the most subtle of our “respectable” sins because it is often practiced under the guise of being zealous for what is right. It’s obvious that within our conservative evangelical circles there are myriads of opinions on everything from theology to conduct to lifestyle and politics. Not only are there multiple opinions but we usually assume our opinion is correct. That’s where our trouble with judgmentalism begins. We equate our opinions with truth. (p. 141) Example 1: Dress I grew up in the mid-twentieth century, when people dressed up to go to church. Men wore jackets and ties (usually suits and ties) and women wore dresses. Sometime in the 1970s, men began to show up at church wearing casual pants and

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Certainty and Openness

This is excellent from Ray Ortlund: Some Christians seem “all certainty.” Maybe it makes them feel heroic, standing against the tide. They see too few gray areas. Everything is a federal case. They have a fundamentalist mindset. Other Christians seem “all openness.” Maybe it makes them feel humble and cool. They see too few black-and-white areas. They’re giving away the store. They have a liberal mindset — though they may demonstrate a surprising certainty against certainty. The Bible is our authority as we sort out what deserves certainty and what deserves openness. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 defines the gospel of Christ crucified for our sins, Christ buried and Christ risen again on the third day, according to the Scriptures, as “of first importance.” Here is the center of our certainty. From that “of first importance” theological address, we move out toward the whole range of theological and practical questions asking for our attention. The more clearly our logic connects with that

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