Wednesday, 11 May 2011
The Shape of Gospel Partnership| Part 2: Partnership Founded on the Gospel
Because God decides who we can and cannot partner with this means we must look to what He has revealed to define the boundaries in which gospel partnership can take place. This means that we must let the gospel, as revealed in Scripture, define these boundaries. It is not denominations (as important as some of their distinctives may be), nor pragmatics, nor cultural identity that marks out who we can work with, but the gospel. One of the implications of this is that we must see our identity primarily as found in the gospel, rather than as being bound up with denominations, cultural background or anything else which shapes who we are.
This will mean that we need to think and work hard about articulating the biblical gospel and what are the things (both doctrinally and in practice) that have direct implications on the gospel. We need to work together on defining these gospel boundaries and articulating what we must not compromise on at any costs, and what areas we are free to be flexible in. This is the basis for partnership.
We are not the first to have to face up to this issue, the historic creeds and confessions of the church down the ages have been formulated partly to serve this purpose, and the statements of faith of more recent times have been doing the same.
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