Friday, April 11, 2014

How Big Is The Tent?

What are the limits of unity?

In my post yesterday I looked briefly at the desire to see some sort of reconciliation between the step-brothers of the Reformation, the so-called Magisterial Reformed embodied in the contemporary Calvinist groups and the Anabaptists represented by two major camps, the traditional Anabaptists and the neo-Anabaptists.

One of the biggest obstacles to this d├ętente is the way each group defines their boundaries. One side defines it far too narrowly and one doesn't seem to define it at all.

Among the neo-Anabaptists that dominate the public conversation (because more traditional Anabaptist groups tend to be extremely insular) there is a dangerous tendency to embrace teachers that espouse radical, unorthodox positions, teachers like Greg Boyd and Rachel Held Evans. I posted this to Facebook the other day...

Like I said, I understand the impulse but I am gravely concerned that replacing rigid dogmatism and traditions with anything goes world pleasing teachers not only opens the door to  the wolves, it provides a host of sheep to devour.

Now the Reformed (outside of efforts like Together For The Gospel and The Gospel Coalition) have the opposite problem, namely that they seem to take great pleasure in ferreting out questionable statements from other Reformed types in order to drum them out of the camp. In this they are closer in behavior to some traditional Anabaptists than they are other evangelicals.

There needs to be balance. We cannot substitute the truth with "anything goes" theology. Likewise we can never claim to hold to the truth while intentionally holding the vast majority of our brethren at arms length.

Not sure where I am going here, but I know we need to both set some reasonable boundaries and tear down others that serve only to isolate. As is often the case the truth is found in the balance.

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