20pluscommunitydigestion

There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

Archive for Mother Church

goal: say more with less


Skip was back yesterday (Incidentally, the comparison with Mick Jagger–I’m not seeing it), and aren’t we all glad. Here’s a devotional of his (Molly Goodson kindly unearthed and forwarded it to me) that says in far fewer words what I tried to explain yesterday about Israel and the Church. Consider the dramatic irony in speaking to this issue considering what Israel faces even this very day!

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Lacuna, Inc.

Remember Lacuna Inc. in that movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Lacuna means “gap” or “missing piece,” which explains the name of the industry promising to impose a gap in that part of your memory you’d rather forget. I confess a 24-hour bout with a lacuna of the mind as I explored unity of the Church with you Sunday. We lament the lack of unity among the churches who claim Christ as Lord. But how does our attention to unity in the local church have any impact on the lack thereof in the worldwide Church? I’ve got no good answers for you, save the curt, optimistic idea that unity in the local church can somehow cause “good infection” elsewhere. Do you think unity will or should emerge from the top-down (leadership of various denominations)? Or do you seeing it happen as a “grass roots” effort–congregations, presbyteries, dioces, communions doing the grunt work and beseeching their clergy to make overtures toward other denominations? Share your thoughts. While you’re at it, have a look at an editorial (you may have to give your email address to see the article, but its free) from Tuesday’s Dallas Morning News. It is the lament of an African-American man who’s grown weary with a church’s misplaced priorities. Inasmuch as he addresses African-American churches, his words should give any church pause. Ours included.

Steps toward Unity?


Before you come Sunday, have a look, if time, at two documents: the first is a summary statement of the movement known as Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT). They’ve written a series of documents explaining where Protestant Evangelicals and Roman Catholics appear to be on the same page, and what implications such unanimity of opinion has for cooperation in the work of Kingdom-Building. The second is a response by our denomination, the PCA, to that effort. I confess a certain sympathy for ECT–that these two communities of Christendom would genuinely look past ancillary distinctions and form a bold and broad new parternship in all things gloryifying Christ. I want that to be true. But when I read the PCA response, I can’t get past the notion that our unity must be founded on something other than a desire to be unified; to follow that route makes fidelity to the apostolic witness unnecessary, and as we’ve discussed, if you discard the fundamentals of the apostles, you lose the Church. It’s not as if ECT has spearheaded an effort to cast a blind eye to fundamental theological differences; if you have even more time, have a look at their estimation of what really separates Catholics from Protestants on the understanding of Salvation. But they have concluded that differences over the nature of salvation should not preclude substantive cooperation, collegiality–everything short of sharing Communion–between these two communities of faith. So have a look. Cogitate. Share your thoughts here. See you Sunday.