Boundaries, Inconsistencies and Theological Safe-guarding

If you’ve been reading some recent posts you’ll hopefully have picked up the following

1.       Human theological systems are imperfect – this means there is scope to challenge, reflect and speculate as we seek to improve our descriptions of God and his actions.

2.       We are all likely to make errors however, there are two protections in place against those errors leading to heresy. The first is an intentional thing -we seek to put boundaries around our thinking and discussions to ensure we don’t stray beyond them.

3.       We are also inconsistent. Meaning that we don’t pursue our errors to their logical conclusions Continue reading

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Are you on the same field of play?

Mike Ovey used to draw a triangle on the whiteboard, he would label each side as follows:  No denial of unity, no denial of distinction, no denial of unity. Stray over any of the lines and you are outside of the “field of play” when you come to the Trinitarian orthodoxy.

David Peterson used to do something similar when it came to  the question of male amd female leadership roles to take account of those passages that talk in terms of male elders and women not exercising teaching authority over men (1 Tim 2-3) and those that clearly show women speaking and being involved in leadership (1 Cor 11, Romans 16).  He explained that within the boundaries is the field of play, space for discussion and learning from one another.  Continue reading

Guarding against cults and false teaching – know what baptism is

When churches go wrong and turn into cults, one of the ways they do this is to put mystical qualities into baptism and specifically into the baptism that they and they only offer. This means that it is only if you are baptised by them that you can receive the full benefits. Continue reading

Guarding against cults and false teachers – teach what it means to be saved

Our biggest concern when dealing with false teaching is that people will be robbed of the joy of salvation. Cults want to control and manipulate people and to do that they need to take away their assurance. This enables them to use guilt and shame to control people. Continue reading

Guarding The Flock: Ten ways that error can creep into the Church

Elders have a dual responsibility. There is the positive duty to feed the sheep by teaching God’s Word. This can often feel like the easy and enjoyable part. In fact often those who are called into leadership are recognised because of their ability to communicate effectively. However, the second responsibility is just as important. This is the requirement to guard the flock, confronting false teaching and protecting the church against error.  Continue reading

Who is the true hope of the World? …And who isn’t?

Okay a little plea for care in how we talk as Christians and church leaders. There’s a little catch phrase that’s been doing the rounds for a few years that “The church is the only true hope of the world.” Continue reading