We’ve looked at some key terms and some different methods of doing theology. Today I want to take an extended excursion to look at the issue of unity and diversity within Christian belief. To help explain I shall be utilizing a solar system, a sumo-wrestler and a mirror.
Should all Christians believe exactly the same things? Or is there room for disagreement? What defines authentic Christian belief? These are important and difficult questions in need of clear answers. By finding these answers we shall be equipped to answer many other questions, such as how denominations (such as Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Anglican, etc.) arose, if similar church splits can or should be avoided, and if other churches, such as Catholics, can rightly be called Christians. In setting up Thinking Matters, conceived as an inter-denominational organization to encourage and support Christian apologetics in New Zealand, we had to wrestle with these very issues, and still regularly are confronted with different perspectives and disagreements within our own ranks concerning what correct theology should be. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there is a great diversity of opinion in Christendom about certain doctrines. But how much diversity of opinion can be permitted until someone can no longer rightly be called an authentic Christian? Read more