Breaking out of the box

“And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved'” (Acts 15:1 NKJV).

I recently had my computer to crash while outside the U.S. Though I had printed instructions as to how to possibly correct the problem, they were quite involved and technical and I did not feel qualified to attempt them, especially since I feared that an error might cause irreversible damage. So I took the computer and the instructions to several local technicians hoping to find one who either knew the procedure or could follow the instructions with confidence. Continue reading “Breaking out of the box”

That dirty word doctrine

Listening to how people speak, how they think and whether a word choice carries with it a positive or negative connotation can quickly suggest some impressions about  doctrine. Recently a candid meeting confirmed my suspicions. Apparently some regard doctrine as a dirty word. How did we arrived here?

Consider the following stereotypes from history. For many, such story snippets exist in mere memory, nevertheless I suspect they resonate and wield determinative power over current perspectives. Once we understand something about the journey, what might the next steps be?

Continue reading “That dirty word doctrine”

What precedes Christian unity

People have proposed many different paths toward acquiring unity among believers. If we will pay close attention to Jesus’ teachings as well as to his apostles’ instructions, we will discover an oft overlooked powerful contributor.

Before people spill a drop of ink or type a single letter revealing our strategies for uniting Christians, we would do well to listen to the Messiah. Jesus prepared people to follow him by describing an essential attitude preceding kingdom service. Continue reading “What precedes Christian unity”

Paul’s prescription for unity

Jesus prayed for unity among his followers.  In Ephesians, Paul described God’s plan to create unity through Christ.  Is there hope today for unity among believers?

When faced with the problem of religious division, Paul simultaneously undermined false values that foster divisiveness while cultivating principles promoting the unity God desires. His prescription boils down to three guidelines:

Continue reading “Paul’s prescription for unity”