Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Practice of Unity on the Mission Field

For 10 years of my life (1994-2004), God gave me the privilege of living and ministering in a very special place in the world called Extremadura. Extremadura is one of the 17 autonomous regions of Spain. Located in the Southwest part of the county bordering Portugal, with a total population of approximately 1,100,000, it is one of Spain’s least economically developed as well as most spiritually unreached areas.

For 5 years, I had the privilege of being the missionary pastor of the Baptist church of Badajoz, the largest city in Extremadura, and for another 5 years, leader of the church planting team in Mérida, the capital city. God blessed my family and me in some special ways during our time in Extremadura. We are thrilled to see the congregations in both Badajoz and Mérida continuing on and growing in grace. But one of the greatest blessings of our time in Extremadura was what God taught us there regarding the unity of His people expressed in very practical ways.

Scattered around Extremadura, there are about 20 small evangelical congregations of various groups and denominations, including Baptists, Pentecostals, Plymouth Brethren, Presbyterians, Non-denominational Charismatics and Non-denominational non-Charismatics. There are a total of about 500 evangelical believers. Although there are occasional differences of opinion and misunderstandings, there is a degree of fellowship and unity among practically all of the various evangelical workers and churches, that I believe serves as a shining example to the Body of Christ around the world.

-One Saturday every two months, under the auspices of the Evangelical Council of Extremadura, the great majority of the various pastors, missionaries and Christian workers in Extremadura get together for a day of sharing God’s Word, prayer, and reporting what God is doing in their various congregations. Simultaneously, there are also adjunct women’s meetings. The location of the meetings rotates among the various churches. At midday, everyone goes out to lunch together at a local restaurant.

-On one special day in early September each year, the members of the various churches get together for an all-day picnic and time of fellowship, complete with preaching, singing, fun, games, and celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

-Once every two years, during Easter week, there is a region-wide retreat with the participation of all the churches, with special guest speakers, and programs for the youth and children.

-During our time in Extremadura, on several occasions, believers from all the churches came together for the Extremadura-wide "March for Jesus," giving a public testimony of both our unity and love for Christ.

-In both Badajoz and Mérida, there are monthly pastors’ prayer meetings, in which the pastors of the various churches get together to share personal and ministry-related prayer concerns and lift them up together before the throne of the Father.

-During the several years I had the honor to serve as Council Member in charge of Ministry to Pastors, I was able, together with a planning committee, to organize a region-wide retreat for pastors and wives, with the participation of Campus Crusade Family Life ministry, as well as the Spanish Baptist Union home missions director. I was also able to sponsor a special all-day meeting in which each pastor, missionary and church leader had the opportunity to present their plans and goals for church planting, and dialogue regarding how to make the best use of our shared vision and resources for reaching Extremadura for Christ.

As a result of all of these different activities, but especially thanks to the friendship and fellowship of many precious brothers and sisters in the Lord, I today am a richer man.

I believe that what I was able to experience in my 10 years in Extremadura serves as a wonderful model for how the unity of God’s people can be expressed in very real and practical ways. I imagine there are certain settings and circumstances that are more conducive to this than others. And I am sure that God will work in different ways in different places and among different cultures. But I am also sure that God’s will for his people is that which is expressed in Psalm 133:

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.



Pray for Extremadura


38 comments:

Debbie said...

Exactly. There is nothing else to be said as your post said it all.

A 10-40 Window Missionary said...

David,

Oh, that our leaders would sanction such a gathering. In our country, we have tried to do some of these "get togethers." Who are notably absent? IMB personnel. While some IMB missionaries may go to a church (and we have had regional leaders who told us to NOT go to church), they are so paralyzed with security concerns, that they would not show up at a gathering of missionaries and church people outside of a church service. Are we not Christians before we are missionaries?

Rightly or wrongly, one of the loud and clear messages church members get from this is that missionaries will not be seen with them.

Paul said...

David,

This is just a fabulous post. Thank you for it. Would that we worked in such unity here in the States.

Blessings to you!

Ken Sorrell said...

Excellent story and post! We would all be better people and Christians if we too would allow God to use others in our lives. Even those we may not always agree with.

A college professor of mine once sated, "who you will be five years from now is determine by the books you read and the people you meet."

tim rogers said...

Brother David,

If no one else will ask this, I believe I will.

In these gatherings have you ever had any one of the Pastors from another denomination, mainly Charismatics or Pentacostals, preach on the doctrine of a second blessing evidenced by the speaking in tongues? If it did happen how was it handled? If it did happen and not privately addressed, has there ever been anyone from another denomination to refute the teaching when it came there time to preach?

Blessings,
Tim

GuyMuse said...

David,

I noted you say there are about 500 evangelical believers in Extremadura. Could it be that unity is easier to acheive when we are small, than it is once we become big and diversified? I have found that we have much more unity within our own cross-section/mix of denominations and evangelical backgrounds within the house church movement, than exists within the Ecuador Baptist Convention which is much bigger and more organized. What does this say about size and the role of size in the Kingdom?

David Rogers said...

Tim,

Not saying that it never has or could not have happened, but I don't personally remember being present when it did. Generally, others tried to respect the doctrinal differences of others present, and not preach and or teach on doctrinal points with which they knew others present would not likely be in agreement.

If it were to happen, I imagine that someone would have brought it up at the next meeting of the elected officials of the Evangelical Council, and someone would have been named to approach the person who did it, and ask them, in the name of unity, to not preach on these topics, at "united meetings." Of course, this is not foolproof, and I guess this could get out of hand. But God, and the general goodwill of the people he sent to Extremadura, have, for the most part, kept this type of thing from happening.

Blessings,

David

David Rogers said...

Guy,

Excellent question! I think you are probably on to something. I think that being such a small minority, we had a greater sense of needing each other, and thus minimizing the differences.

Also, it is a lot harder to publicly criticize and disparage someone whom you know you will be seeing regularly, and might actually end up in the same small group prayer time together.

Now, the big question. How do we take this small group dynamic, and transfer it over when God gives fruit and the numbers begin to grow? I imagine that was in Paul's mind when he wrote: "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (Eph. 4.3). In other words, we have to work hard at it.

Ken Sorrell said...

David,

If I missed this point earlier, please let me know. I am wondering if we need to distinquish between "unity" in terms as being able to fellowship together, pray together, and maybe even study Scripture together. However, when it comes to implementing our understanding of Scripture where does unity come into play. For example, I spent many a meal and moment with Nazarene Christians while in Guatemala, but we did not join forces in church planting, or leadership development. What are we strving for?

Tom Bryant said...

David,
Thanks for talking about a model that we ought to be using in our communities.

I agree with what you said:
"Also, it is a lot harder to publicly criticize and disparage someone whom you know you will be seeing regularly, and might actually end up in the same small group prayer time together."

It also can color how we phrase our differences when we have to deal with a doctrinal issue in our churches. We won't be as quick to use personal attacks and generalizations when dealing with "triage" issues.

David Rogers said...

Ken,

Good question. I would make a distinction between Christian unity and Church union. I still hold to the so-called "Baptist distinctive" of the autonomy of the local congregation. Each congregation is going to have its own doctrinal standards and guidelines. If doctrinal standards and guidelines, and/or core values of those in leadership in a church plant or developed congregation are not compatible with one another, in the interest of the healthy progress of the work, it will be best to work in separate congregations. Although the situation of Paul and Barnabas with John Mark was not exactly a doctrinal question, I think there are some parallels. They mutually decided that for the healthy progress of the work it would be best that they work separately. But that doesn't mean they quit having fellowship with one another.

As far as leadership training is concerned, I believe there are some "hybrid" models, if you will, where it is possible to work together on the things you agree on, and separately on the things you do not. All at the same time. But then again, at the same time, I have no problem with denominationally-based leadership training, provided it does not effectively serve to detach believers from fellowship with the rest of the Body of Christ.

IN HIS NAME said...

David,
Thank you for sharing how it should be within a Body of Believers being Lead by the Holy Spirit. When we take our eyes off of Jesus Christ we lose our focus and goal. That is why I feel that we in the states in the so-called Body of Christ have a Problem.
Some have censored The Holy Spirit's work. I always ask people to pray for the missionaries. My son when in missions always felt the prayers that were lifted up for God's Glory. I guess we need the missionaries to pray for the Baptist Church to be purified in Love Worth Finding.

A Brother in Christ

IN HIS NAME said...

David,

I forgot to add, I pray you all had the same Bible.

A Brother in Christ

mr. t said...

We have two interdenominational fellowship groups where we serve. One is a group of national pastors and leaders from all denominations. The other is a group of international missionaries from different countries and agencies/churches. The pastors and leaders meet once each month for prayer, praise and exhortation. A different person does the speaking each time. The international missionaries from different countries will meet about every 3 months for a two day retreat. The retreat majors on fellowship and prayer but will also have a different speaker each time to share from God's word. Some of the same people from these meetings participate in both fellowships. It's all good! The purpose is fellowship to foster unity and to encourage one another to spread the gospel.

Christians are 0.06 percent of the population where we serve, so we really do feel the need for fellowship with one another. I think Guy makes a great point about more unity when we are outnumbered so overwhelmingly.

Concerning church planting, we do not partner together with other denominations at that level. We do plant churches with independent indigenous workers that are "baptistic" but do not belong to our denomination, nor any denomination. Their doctrine, church structure and leadership mirror ours, but they have their own indigenous identity. (Sorry, there are no SBC churches here, just indigenous churches that have Baptist distinctives).

For leadership development I have done training with Anglicans, Prebyterians, Assemblies of God and Charismatic Independents. We don't plant churches with them, however, they have requested our training so they might be more effective in their church planting efforts. They have appreciated the training and some are having good results.

There are different levels of partnership in mission that can cross denominational lines. But ministry at the local church level is distinct. The local churches birthed through mission have their own assignment from God. Each church can receive encouragement and learn from others, but each is responsible before God to carry out their local ministry assignment. I don't see this as disunity, especially when we continue to pray, fellowship and encourage one another to be on God's mission. When local churches send and go on mission, they will partner at different levels with others in order to obey the Great Commission.

What I am trying to say is, we can have spiritual unity as the greater body of Christ and at the same time, have spiritual interdependence as local bodies of Christ.

David Rogers said...

mr. t & ken,

I agree that at a church planting level, you don't necessarily have to work with everyone in the world in order to demonostrate authentic unity. Like I said on the second "Triage" post, about the Personal Conviction Survey questions, there are many people it would be hard or not practical to work together with on a church planting team. There are some IMB workers I could not work together with on a CP team. But then, there are some non-IMB folks I could work perfectly well with. What I don't agree with are blanket restrictions on working with non-IMB people at this level. It should be up to the individual m's to decide, as long as they are in line with basic doctrinal guidelines.

Bart Barber said...

Good article, David,

What mystifies me are the comments by folks seemingly from the perspective of "(insert appropriate hand-wringing here) How WONDERFUL that this is going on in Spain! Why oh WHY can't this ever happen in the USA?"

We've got a ministerial alliance in Farmersville. With the exception of the Lord's Supper, every bit of what you've described has happened here in Farmersville. It is indeed a sweet thing to work in fellowship with Christian brothers and sisters, but without violating our distinctive beliefs. So it can happen in the USA and does, I believe, with great frequency.

Of course, part of the reason that it can happen in Farmersville is because we are willing to label, to specify doctrinal parameters, and to stick with them. There is a Mormon gathering in town, but our ministerial alliance has adopted doctrinal guidelines that exclude them. The tight parameters of our fellowship allow us to do things like adopt joint evangelistic efforts.

Also, we've learned how to have unity through being comfortable with our sectarianisms. I preach about Baptist distinctives, but not at ministerial alliance services. The other pastors and I talk about our differences. The AofG pastor is a former Southern Baptist, and we've spoken frequently about his journey. He knows that I disagree. I know that he disagrees. But it doesn't hinder what we do through the ministerial alliance.

Never in a million years would I try to plant churches with any of these gentlemen (except the other SBC church in town). Such an endeavor would completely explode the unity and fellowship that we've developed.

tim rogers said...

Brother David,

Allow me to share a private moment with you publicly. If you do not desire this, then by all means feel free to remove it.

I shared your email response to me with my wife. She was so thrilled and estactic over your humility and your compassion that she noticed through your words. (I have learned my wife is a very perceptive woman.) When I told her that you and I probably did disagree on which doctrines would be assigned to which level, she became very quiet. She then voiced something that I have been harboring in my heart for months now. She said, Are you sure? You know this is Dr. Adrian Rogers' son. Have you lost your mind disagreeing with Dr. Adrian Rogers' son? Then she responded, but just because he is Adrian Rogers' son does not mean he is infallible. I then reminded her that neither was I infallible.

You know David, isn't that what this is all about? Fallible people trying to make sense out of an infallible document? It does break my heart that we have to wrestle with these issues. What is going on at SWBTS has drawn a line in the sand for people. I do pray for unity and I pray it will come in my lifetime. Certainly there are levels of Doctrine we must agree on. However, I cannot sit back and watch a Mission Movement be destroyed over personality differences. What began as a movement to stop narrowing parameters now appears to have morphed into a movement to clean house. God help us.

Blessings,
Tim

GuyMuse said...

Very interesting conversation going on here...

David you write...

What I don't agree with are blanket restrictions on working with non-IMB people at this [church planting]level. It should be up to the individual m's to decide, as long as they are in line with basic doctrinal guidelines...

I would take this a step further and include, not only non-IMB people, but non-Baptist people.

I would be the first to admit from experience that working across denominational lines in church planting training brings in a whole set of dynamics that one doesn't get when working with "birds of a feather" that see everything like we do.

What I have found though in seeking to be unified not only in fellowship, but in working together to plant churches within the broader evangelical community, is that, while those we train may start non-Baptist churches, they are indeed going out and winning, discipling (with our Baptist materials), baptizing, and teaching new believers to do the same. In almost every case what results is clearly at least a baptistic church.

When we truly unite with like-minded brothers and sisters in the GC task, a lot of those 2nd and 3rd tier issues are tacitly understood. The first tier issues are what really matters. If winning the lost, discipling, baptizing and teaching are considered 1st tier issues, why not be united with our fellow brothers in not only fellowship, but in Kingdom church planting?

mr. t said...

Here we are united in the sense that we are all working toward seeing everyone have access to the gospel through churches in every place among every people. We share experiences and even do training together at the church planting level. But each knows that churches planted will identify with not only the kingdom, but also a specific org/denomination or assoc. of churches. That is the reality, and that reality is everywhere. So, we respect each other as we all continue on God's mission. We fellowship, pray, praise, and even train together; but with no expectation of conformity to second and third tier distinctives. We instinctively know that we should not bring up controversial issues when we have our times for fellowship. There are issues that should be kept "in-house" to preserve peace and everyone knows that. Since they are non-essential issues, no problem.

In short, we have unity without conformity. We respect each other's freedom in Christ to obey the Great Commission within our unique identity as part of God's kingdom... as long as the essential first tier issues are not being violated.

David, thanks for the post and dialogue.

IN HIS NAME said...

David.

I love the sharing above and showing the love of the Lord. Jesus gave us the Great Commission to share His Love and win Souls. Our Sanctification is our walk and to gain knowledge (The Word) which fits us into Denominations. We are not born Baptist; we are Baptist because of knowledge we learned. So lets first be Christian and follow Christ.

A Brother in Christ

David Rogers said...

Bart,

I am happy to hear about the ministerial alliance in Farmersville, and how well it seems to function. I think you have a good point. As Robert Frost said in the poem "Mending Walls": "Good fences make good neighbors."

I just wonder if when you say: "Never in a million years would I try to plant churches with any of these gentlemen (except the other SBC church in town)," is this for reasons of doctrinal and/or core value incompatibility, or due rather to denominational labels and loyalties? If it is due to the latter, I would not be in favor of taking the liberty away from you to make these choices for these reasons. That is entirely up to you. My problem comes whenever we start dictating to someone who feels they might want to do this that they can't because it violates some code or another of denominational loyalty.

mr. t said...

I should add, we have unity without conformity or CONTROL.

One of the major reasons we avoid working together, even within our own denomination/organization, is the tendency for one party to attempt to exercise control over the other. Trying to force conformity through control is the enemy of unity.

For this reason many times I have been unable to work closely with Baptist partners on the mission field. They would not respect our freedom to obey the Lord's commands and accountability to our sending agency and churches. Where we serve now I have found independents and other entities more baptistic than the Baptists in our context. We still keep a cordial relationship but know that we cannot work closely together in church planting due to their desire for control.

David Rogers said...

Tim,

Tell your wife I am humbled by her comments, but I am far from infallible. And, even though I loved and respected my Dad IMMENSELY (see What my Daddy has Given Me) there are no doubt a few issues in which even I don't "cross every 't' and dot every 'i' just like him. So you are right, none of us is infallible.

Having said that, though, I am not quite sure what you mean by "However, I cannot sit back and watch a Mission Movement be destroyed over personality differences. What began as a movement to stop narrowing parameters now appears to have morphed into a movement to clean house." Reading some of your other posts and comments, I think I have an idea, though. If I am hearing you correctly, I would respond that the original "house-cleaning movement" started back with Keith Eitel's Vision Assessment paper, and subsequent policy adjustments at the IMB. I do agree we need to be careful to keep ourselves on the issues, and not on personalities. But, IMHO, most of what has gone on through the blogs during this year has been in response to actions taken by others first, not haphazardly looking to bring others down without cause. I, for one, am optimistic that, rather than a "Mission Movement being destroyed," we are making progress towards bringing us back to where we need to be.

David Rogers said...

Guy and mr. t,

I am in essential agreement with what both of you are saying. And I think you are in essential agreement with each other, right?

I, for instance, choose to work closely with the Baptist Union here in Spain, and maintain good relationships with them. All the churches and church plants with which we have been involved up to date, have been affiliated with the Baptist Union. But, if specific circumstances warranted working with someone else, I would not have any "prima facie" objection towards doing so.

Actually, there are probably a few groups in Spain, that, even though they don't have "Baptist" in the name are more doctrinally compatible overall with the BFM 2000 than the Baptist Union.

Bart Barber said...

David,

I wouldn't cooperate with them in church planting because of doctrinal differences. You've read enough of my stuff, I think, to know that I am firmly convinced of Baptist ecclesiology. We've also dialogued enough, I think, for you to know that I do not hold that simply as a shallow institutional loyalty.

I believe in the unbridled liberty for everyone to choose their partnerships in church planting according to their own convictions. The founding of the Southern Baptist Convention was just such an occasion, where Baptists united with one another to plant Baptist churches throughout the world.

David Rogers said...

Bart,

I appreciate and respect your comment here. I guess the only churches in Farmersville that are doctrinally compatible enough for you happen to be Southern Baptist. Fair enough.

Also, I am wondering about the phrase: "The founding of the Southern Baptist Convention was just such an occasion, where Baptists united with one another to plant Baptist churches throughout the world." I am not saying that is not the case, but was just curious if you have any textual evidence to back up that statement as worded here.

Bart Barber said...

David,

Well, there is a primitive Baptist church in town, but they won't participate in the ministerial alliance. I wouldn't refuse to plant churches with them, but they wouldn't partner with us.

As to the statement about the SBC, did I misspeak somewhere? I think I can defend this as the intention of the founders, but in both of our interests to limit my characteristic wordiness, can you point me to the part of the statement that you think may not be correct?

Ken Sorrell said...

David,

The "Bill Bright Initiative" is a classic example of folks across denominational lines trying to work together for the cause of bringing more people into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. While on the surface this seems to be a great initiative, just under the surface lies the reasons we have differing strategies to reach people for Christ and plant new churches.

I was honored to be part of the meeting held in Dallas, TX last summer. It was exciting to see people for all denominational spectrums gathered together focused on the theme, a billion souls for Christ.

However, my excitement quickly diminished as I realized that there were other agendas driving this process. This I became confused as speaker after speaker made presentations that openly contradicted what was just presented. It became evident, at least to me, that it was going to be difficult for there to be the level of unity in the work to see this happen.

Everyone could enjoy meals together and fellowship, but when it came down to the nitty-gritty issues of working together under one strategy, there was not the same sense that we were all together.

I'm not sure if I making myself clear here except to say I wish what we have in common outweighed our differences. I'm just not sure this is the case and I don't know how to respond sometimes.

David Rogers said...

Bart,

I would like to think that the purpose behind the founding of the the SBC was in order to help Baptist churches, as a part of Christ's Body around the world, to more effectively fulfill their role in the Great Commission. No doubt that a specific application of this has been and is "planting Baptist churches around the world." But, in my idealism, I would like to think the SBC exists primarily, not for the propagation of the Baptist denomination, but rather as a tool, alongside of other tools, in the extension of God's Kingdom. I am not denying there may be documentary evidence to the contrary, though. I was thinking you, with your store of knowledge of church, and especially, Baptist history, might know if this is the case or not. Either way, I don't see it as a major issue one way or another right now. We are all products of our generation and circumstances to one degree or another. What is more important, in my opinion, is to define who we are, and what is our task, in light of the Bible, and in light of the spiritual need of our generation.

David Rogers said...

Ken,

I agree. We should not be expected to work together with everyone else at everything.

As I mention on another post, a Strategic Alliance is "A close working relationship between individuals and/or organizations that agree to work together for a specific purpose because they can accomplish more working together than separately." In some cases, we accomplish more working separately, or at least, working together with others.

Paul Burleson said...

David,

A great post and great following discussion. I sometimes wonder if my meaning of unity is more of an attitude concerning all who name the name of Jesus as Lord rather than an agreement with those who hold to certain doctrinal expressions. That what I heard was happening in Farmersville. They had that attitude toward one another.

Uniformity is almost impossible in this fallen world where all of us see through a glass darkly. I certainly bond more closely with Baptists and have for fifty years.

But even in that closer bond, I would not want there to have to be uniformity. It is this tightrope walk between unity of spirit with all and bonding in groups within the whole that is our struggle. It seems to me that this struggle was in microcosm in every church I pastored. There was a working with people who held various position on certain doctrines that differed with others. How you teach the truth of what you saw as truth and respected their need to search and discover their own position was that tightrope. As a pastor, i faced it major especially since I could not and would not be a part of an abusive situation. Of course, there were some major points at which we had to agree. But there was as great a need to demonstrate an appreciation and acceptance of each person and their right to disagree, in lessor doctrines without judgement, as there was to teach the majors. [I always struggle with using the words major/lessor lest someone hear them to mean value or inspiration.] When that spirit was maintained unity prevailed. In churches where it didn't harmony was lost and sides were chosen.

I'm wondering if our Denomination is not suffering some of this same struggle now. If we in fact are, you're insights are of great help. Thanks.

By the way, you've been prayed for this week too.

Paul

antonio said...

I'm amazed at the tone here in discussion...but it's a good thing. You know if we could all talk this peacefully about our different viewpoints we could accomplish so much more as a convention.

Bart Barber said...

David,

Thanks. I wasn't sure whether you were suggesting that things other than church planting were the aim of the SBC, or that the planting of churches other than Baptist churches was included in the original vision of the SBC.

With regard to the first, I would have to admit that I wrote too hastily. The Convention method comprehends a variety of ministries not uniquely related to church planting.

With regard to the second, a twenty-first century Baptist could certainly read in the text of the SBC Constitution the idea that the SBC is an entity for the extension of "Christian missions" even if that extension were to result in, say, Methodist or Catholic churches.

But I think that if one spent some time with William Bullein Johnson's second-most-important document (other than the SBC's constitution), The Gospel developed through the government and order of the Churches of Jesus Christ, one would find a pretty Bapto-centric (to coin a word) view of the Kingdom of God.

As you have rightly noted, the SBC was a product of its times. It came to life during the heyday of denominationalism. And the spirit of postdenominationalism will influence many in this day.

Bryan Riley said...

I love this post. This is what we need. Everywhere. In Piggott, Arkansas, in Guntersville, Alabama, in Port St. Joe, Florida, in Cameroon, in Finland, in Pearl City, Hawaii, in the farthest reaches of the inhabited world. We have One God. He is unified. We, as His children, can be one with Him.

What I saw at the University of the Nations was amazing and a testament to God's glory. Dozens of denominations from over 30 countries coming together in worship and working to see the gospel of Christ spread throughout the Earth. In that environment, with that unified goal, people weren't worried about second blessings and the like. They were focused on Jesus: making Him known and being like Him.

Yes, more of that Psalm, David... How blessed it is when we are in unity in Christ.

Thank you for sharing.

Bryan Riley said...

And, now that I have read almost all the comments, I want to say I agree that the tone and the honesty here is wonderful to behold. We really share something in common: Jesus. Let's demonstrate that clearly to those who don't share that.

David Rogers said...

Thanks Bart, for your scholarship, honesty, and integrity.

I, for one, think the "spirit of postdenominationalism" you mention, provided it is a "biblical postdenominationalism" (based on biblical doctrine and ecclesiology) is something the Holy Spirit is doing in the Church and the churches today. Yes, there are some pitfalls to be avoided, but overall, I think it is a good thing, for which I praise God.

IN HIS NAME said...

David,

I just read (What my Daddy has Given Me) for the first time and all I can say is You are Your Daddy's Son. God has given you a Heart like he gave your Dad and Wisdom to Defend God's Word in the Love of His Son Jesus Christ.
I love the presence of the Holy Spirit in the debates you are involved in. May God continue to Bless you and Your Family.

In Jesus Name Wayne

Bart Barber said...

David,

Bro. Reisinger has arrived over at my place. See here in the comment log.

In Christ,
Bart