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Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 21 2020 7:33 AM | Locked

Mattillo:

Paul Caneparo:

I like this quote from Michael Bird. The point being different denominations will take different viewpoints on certain things, but the first order points are essential and make a "theology" Christian. 

First order doctrines are those which are essential and nonnegotiable in the Christian belief mosaic, such as the Trinity, the inspiration of the Scriptures, the atonement, Christ’s resurrection, Christ’s return, and salvation by grace through faith—things without which one cannot be a Christian. Second order doctrines are those such as baptism, church government, or one’s view of end-times theology, and other related matters that are indeed important for faith and the life of the church but are not ultimately obstructive for Christian unity. Third order doctrines are those that are adiaphora or matters of indifference, such as whether Christians can drink alcohol, whether should they homeschool their children, what Bible translations should they use, and the like.

 Is that from a Book, Paul?

Yes. From a book totally unrelated to this issue, but the quote is still relevant in terms of what shouldn't divide Christians and what matters mean someone cannot rightly be understood to be Christian..

https://ebooks.faithlife.com/product/25299/bourgeois-babes-bossy-wives-and-bobby-haircuts-a-case-for-gender-equality-in-ministry

Posts 630
David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 21 2020 7:58 AM | Locked

Paul Caneparo:

I like this quote from Michael Bird. The point being different denominations will take different viewpoints on certain things, but the first order points are essential and make a "theology" Christian. 

First order doctrines are those which are essential and nonnegotiable in the Christian belief mosaic, such as the Trinity, the inspiration of the Scriptures, the atonement, Christ’s resurrection, Christ’s return, and salvation by grace through faith—things without which one cannot be a Christian. Second order doctrines are those such as baptism, church government, or one’s view of end-times theology, and other related matters that are indeed important for faith and the life of the church but are not ultimately obstructive for Christian unity. Third order doctrines are those that are adiaphora or matters of indifference, such as whether Christians can drink alcohol, whether should they homeschool their children, what Bible translations should they use, and the like.

I think the problem with this quote is it assumes his division of First Order and Second Order is universally accepted. But those who see Baptism as a sacrament would reject his notion that it is a “second order” issue. I won’t break the rules and get into an argument over whose view on that topic is right (though as a disclosure, I am a Catholic who accepts the teachings of the Church), but I think his view reflects his own theology and not a universal view.

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Posts 1276
Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 21 2020 8:19 AM | Locked

David Wanat:

Paul Caneparo:

I like this quote from Michael Bird. The point being different denominations will take different viewpoints on certain things, but the first order points are essential and make a "theology" Christian. 

First order doctrines are those which are essential and nonnegotiable in the Christian belief mosaic, such as the Trinity, the inspiration of the Scriptures, the atonement, Christ’s resurrection, Christ’s return, and salvation by grace through faith—things without which one cannot be a Christian. Second order doctrines are those such as baptism, church government, or one’s view of end-times theology, and other related matters that are indeed important for faith and the life of the church but are not ultimately obstructive for Christian unity. Third order doctrines are those that are adiaphora or matters of indifference, such as whether Christians can drink alcohol, whether should they homeschool their children, what Bible translations should they use, and the like.

I think the problem with this quote is it assumes his division of First Order and Second Order is universally accepted. But those who see Baptism as a sacrament would reject his notion that it is a “second order” issue. I won’t break the rules and get into an argument over whose view on that topic is right (though as a disclosure, I am a Catholic who accepts the teachings of the Church), but I think his view reflects his own theology and not a universal view.

The point Michael Bird is making though relates to the mode of baptism. I believe in believer's baptism but I attend a church that baptises infants. I may disagree, but it's not sufficient for me to not attend the church, as it is thoroughly orthodox in first order matters.

Posts 3892
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 21 2020 8:24 AM | Locked

Thank you Paul. I actually have that book for some reason. I’ll have to take a look at that. Currently listed at 1.99 for anyone interested

Posts 630
David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 21 2020 8:35 AM | Locked

Paul Caneparo:

David Wanat:

Paul Caneparo:

I like this quote from Michael Bird. The point being different denominations will take different viewpoints on certain things, but the first order points are essential and make a "theology" Christian. 

First order doctrines are those which are essential and nonnegotiable in the Christian belief mosaic, such as the Trinity, the inspiration of the Scriptures, the atonement, Christ’s resurrection, Christ’s return, and salvation by grace through faith—things without which one cannot be a Christian. Second order doctrines are those such as baptism, church government, or one’s view of end-times theology, and other related matters that are indeed important for faith and the life of the church but are not ultimately obstructive for Christian unity. Third order doctrines are those that are adiaphora or matters of indifference, such as whether Christians can drink alcohol, whether should they homeschool their children, what Bible translations should they use, and the like.

I think the problem with this quote is it assumes his division of First Order and Second Order is universally accepted. But those who see Baptism as a sacrament would reject his notion that it is a “second order” issue. I won’t break the rules and get into an argument over whose view on that topic is right (though as a disclosure, I am a Catholic who accepts the teachings of the Church), but I think his view reflects his own theology and not a universal view.

The point Michael Bird is making though relates to the mode of baptism. I believe in believer's baptism but I attend a church that baptises infants. I may disagree, but it's not sufficient for me to not attend the church, as it is thoroughly orthodox in first order matters.

I get that. But it’s *not* second order for those who believe Baptism to be a Sacrament. It would be part of the first order truths. In ecumenism that has to be recognized. Otherwise, one group becomes dismissive of what another holds to be important.

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Posts 1276
Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 21 2020 9:04 AM | Locked

David Wanat:

Paul Caneparo:

David Wanat:

Paul Caneparo:

I like this quote from Michael Bird. The point being different denominations will take different viewpoints on certain things, but the first order points are essential and make a "theology" Christian. 

First order doctrines are those which are essential and nonnegotiable in the Christian belief mosaic, such as the Trinity, the inspiration of the Scriptures, the atonement, Christ’s resurrection, Christ’s return, and salvation by grace through faith—things without which one cannot be a Christian. Second order doctrines are those such as baptism, church government, or one’s view of end-times theology, and other related matters that are indeed important for faith and the life of the church but are not ultimately obstructive for Christian unity. Third order doctrines are those that are adiaphora or matters of indifference, such as whether Christians can drink alcohol, whether should they homeschool their children, what Bible translations should they use, and the like.

I think the problem with this quote is it assumes his division of First Order and Second Order is universally accepted. But those who see Baptism as a sacrament would reject his notion that it is a “second order” issue. I won’t break the rules and get into an argument over whose view on that topic is right (though as a disclosure, I am a Catholic who accepts the teachings of the Church), but I think his view reflects his own theology and not a universal view.

The point Michael Bird is making though relates to the mode of baptism. I believe in believer's baptism but I attend a church that baptises infants. I may disagree, but it's not sufficient for me to not attend the church, as it is thoroughly orthodox in first order matters.

I get that. But it’s *not* second order for those who believe Baptism to be a Sacrament. It would be part of the first order truths. In ecumenism that has to be recognized. Otherwise, one group becomes dismissive of what another holds to be important.

I do believe Michael Bird's 3 lists are fundamentally valid.  He's saying that first order points are valid reasons to exclude a denomination as being true to the Christian faith, which was one of the questions posed earlier in this forum - i.e. what is a "Christian" denomination?  The second order points are ones Michael Bird suggests we should passionately argue for, but should not be used to regard others as being outside the Christian church. 

(I think most denominations would regard baptism as a sacrament.  We might differ on whether faith should come first and on the mode.  Some would believe it is critical in the salvation process.  For myself, I'd simply say that faith in Jesus and in his death on the cross in my place is essential and that baptism should ideally follow.  Obviously some - like the thief on the cross - never get a chance for some reason.)

Posts 10953
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 21 2020 9:14 AM | Locked

Paul Caneparo:
I like this quote from Michael Bird. The point being different denominations will take different viewpoints on certain things, but the first order points are essential and make a "theology" Christian. 

That is so interesting. A few years back, I chatted with the ministers/pastors in our town. I guess maybe 15 or so. In discussing church growth, only one mentioned theology (Masters). One was quite aggressive ... child care was absolutely key. Another refused older music ... the seniors die ...  the key is younger members and the music team. When the seniors complained, the team glued several oldies together to get the checkoff. One pastor was really depressed, until he removed the denominational moniker, with greater success.

But times have quickly changed. Now, it's hot-sin positioning, and politics. The smaller hispanic church got tagged big time.

Being a statistician at heart, I periodically scan the respective parking lots to see how things are coming. I read an article yesterday, that Covid may well shake things up (after a lengthy stay-home). 

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 3892
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 21 2020 9:23 AM | Locked

 I heard a sermon once about breaking things up into categories that goes along with what Bird says. What will you: Die, Divide, Debate, and Decide over

Posts 1276
Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 21 2020 9:34 AM | Locked

Denise:

Paul Caneparo:
I like this quote from Michael Bird. The point being different denominations will take different viewpoints on certain things, but the first order points are essential and make a "theology" Christian. 

That is so interesting. A few years back, I chatted with the ministers/pastors in our town. I guess maybe 15 or so. In discussing church growth, only one mentioned theology (Masters). One was quite aggressive ... child care was absolutely key. Another refused older music ... the seniors die ...  the key is younger members and the music team. When the seniors complained, the team glued several oldies together to get the checkoff. One pastor was really depressed, until he removed the denominational moniker, with greater success.

But times have quickly changed. Now, it's hot-sin positioning, and politics. The smaller hispanic church got tagged big time.

Being a statistician at heart, I periodically scan the respective parking lots to see how things are coming. I read an article yesterday, that Covid may well shake things up (after a lengthy stay-home). 

Covid has certainly been used by God to shake things up and get people "attending" church who didn't previously. I don't know how others feel, but I don't have any denominational hang ups. I simply describe myself as Christian. I may have certain theological beliefs, but like Michael Bird was indicating many of them shouldn't divide us. Certain beliefs are of the first order, but others are simply our considered interpretation.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 21 2020 3:01 PM | Locked

Michael Bird:
First order doctrines are those which are essential and nonnegotiable in the Christian belief mosaic, such as the Trinity,

The problem is fundamental - this list excludes non-trinitarians which represent 35 million Christians according to Wikipedia. Then there is the question of the gnostic and syncretic groups. For the forums, if you call yourself Christian you are counted as Christian. Period.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 219
MWW | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 21 2020 7:17 PM | Locked

MJ. Smith:
For the forums, if you call yourself Christian you are counted as Christian. Period.

True but for the future what we call ourselves will not be nearly as important as what Christ calls us (Matthew 7:21-23) something that should have us all in fear and trembling 😳 no matter what our affiliation 😇

 

Posts 401
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Adam Borries (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 22 2020 8:32 AM | Locked

Hey, everyone: GOOD JOB!

Thanks for steering this back to gracious and productive conversation. This thread was reported a couple of times over the weekend. I have to admit, I cringed a little as I clicked through, fully expecting to have to lock the thread. 

Instead, I'm reminded what a wonderful community we have. 

MJ. Smith:
For the forums, if you call yourself Christian you are counted as Christian. Period.

Well stated, MJ. Thank all of you for keeping each other accountable to be inclusive and on-topic, and graciously accepting gentle correction when it's needed. 

Adam Borries | Product Manager, Logos desktop application

Message me on Faithlife.com >>

Posts 630
David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 22 2020 8:59 AM | Locked

Well, once I realized I was “posting angry” I decided to take a few days away from the forums to cool down. Sorry for my “contribution“ there.

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Posts 435
Mathew Haferkamp | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2020 12:27 PM | Locked

Hey Adam Borries, so if I read you right anyone who wants to come on the forums and claim to be a Christian is beyond rebuke?   So if someone said they were Islam or Hindu but defined themselves as Christian we are wrong to say they are wrong?  Just want clarity.    

Posts 1276
Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2020 12:48 PM | Locked

Mathew Haferkamp:

Hey Adam Borries, so if I read you right anyone who wants to come on the forums and claim to be a Christian is beyond rebuke?   So if someone said they were Islam or Hindu but defined themselves as Christian we are wrong to say they are wrong?  Just want clarity.    

Mathew. I believe you and are on the same page theologically given the Facebook group we're on. However, the forum is not designed to question someone's theological beliefs. That may be frustrating, but that's within the spirit of the forum guidelines. Paul

Posts 435
Mathew Haferkamp | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2020 12:58 PM | Locked

Thanks Paul, but I was around when they did these forum guidelines and per a logos employee it was just done to appease a few people on the forums.  But I would like to hear from Adam where logos stands on this. 

The only reason I posted on this thread was because everyone was dancing around, or condoning, the elephant in the room. 

Posts 1276
Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2020 2:05 PM | Locked

Mathew Haferkamp:

Thanks Paul, but I was around when they did these forum guidelines and per a logos employee it was just done to appease a few people on the forums.  But I would like to hear from Adam where logos stands on this. 

The only reason I posted on this thread was because everyone was dancing around, or condoning, the elephant in the room. 

After I posted the Michael Bird quote which I felt in the First Order list covered areas common to all historically orthodox Christians, it struck me that the Nicene Creed is an ecumenical creed accepted by all historically orthodox branches of the Christian faith. 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2020 3:18 PM | Locked

Paul Caneparo:
it struck me that the Nicene Creed is an ecumenical creed accepted by all historically orthodox branches of the Christian faith. 

Paul - give it a break. Not all Christians accept/accepted the Nicene Creed which is why Wikipedia has an article titled "Nicene Christianity". For an historical example, think Arianism which remained a significant portion of Christianity until the seventh century and re-emerged (embers reignited) in the 16th century. And don't waste my time by yelling "heresy" -- I am sure I could find the label "heresy" applied to every single group represented in the forums. It is meaningless because "heresy" is meaningful only in relationship to your acceptance of the authority of those using the term.

Mathew Haferkamp:
 So if someone said they were Islam or Hindu but defined themselves as Christian we are wrong to say they are wrong? 

Mathew, what you are speaking of here is syncretism.  I've never found a boundary that I am comfortable with between inculturation and syncretism - it's one of those I know it when I see it things. In Asia, think God's Army; in Europe, think Benedicaria.  In the Carribbean, think Rastafari. In Africa, think Chrislam - Christian/Islam i.e. your example. For your other example, think Malbars of Réunion. Each of these groups is sufficiently Christian as to find Logos of use. Which is why, in the Logos forums, someone is Christian if they claim to be Christian. Period.

One strength of the forums is that we are all introduced to Christians of beliefs and practices that we would never encountered in our own tiny social region. And in accepting them as fellow Logos users, we often find they are not as different from ourselves as we would have expected. Plus we are presented with challenges that force us to think about and refine our beliefs, or at least how we express them.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 1464
Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2020 3:53 PM | Locked

"we are wrong to say they are wrong?" 

You are here, yes. And they would be to make such claims, regardless of whether those claims are correct or not. The Logos forums are not a place for asserting, denying, or discussing theological claims; it's not a place for boundary maintenance. I'm well aware of traditional perceptions of Latter-day Saints, and I strongly suspect virtually everyone else is too. 

Given the mix of people and backgrounds of Logos users, it is neither safe nor fair to assume that everyone will share your (generally speaking) degree of academic comfort, theological boundaries, or idiosyncratic vocabulary.  

I've been a Logos user 20 years, on the forums nearly that whole time. When it comes to relevant sources (or categorizing sources as more or less useful), or flagrant inaccuracies, I speak up. But I do not argue for, critique, cast aspersions on, or privilege my own or anyone else's beliefs here.

I'm here to talk Logos. 

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

Posts 630
David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2020 4:05 PM | Locked

You can probably sum it all up as: FL isn’t going to create a definition of orthodox Christianity binding on all members and will not allow members to debate it on their own forums.

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