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Christian Unity Archives

June 29, 2007

Some of the most popular articles on this site are in the “Past Series” box on the right side of the screen. (You might have to scroll down a bit to see it, depending on your font settings). I thought it would be worthwhile to provide a brief introduction to these sets of articles so that people who have come along more recently will know about them.

1) Comments on the 13 Propositions of Thomas Campbell

In 1809, Thomas Campbell wrote a monumental document calling for unity among all believers in Christ. That document is known as the Declaration and Address, and is perhaps the most important man-made document in Restoration Movement history. The central points of the document are captured in thirteen propositions, or principles, all soundly based on scripture, which Campbell believed could bring about unity among the believers. As the first series on this site, the articles examine each of the thirteen propositions, with the benefit of almost 200 years of subsequent history, to see what can be learned about the way forward.

2) Comments on Restoration Hermeneutics

As the Restoration Movement became established, a definite set of rules emerged for interpretation of scripture. These rules were concerned with Commands, Examples, and Necessary Inferences (CENI), as well as understanding what is implied by the Silence of the Scriptures on various topics. This series of blog articles examines these hermeneutic rules and shows some of the strengths and pitfalls of the approach.

3) Scriptures, Creeds, and Sand Creek

As the Restoration Movement moved through its second half-century, controversies around the Silence of the Scriptures began to divide the movement. This series of articles begins with a look at Luther’s Sola Scriptura principle, which was a central concept in Campbell’s Declaration and Address. It then traces the fracturing of the Restoration Movement, essentially over controversies about how those scriptures should be understood. In many places, but very notably and especially at Sand Creek, doctrines derived from inferences and silence led to many divisions, beginning in the late 1800’s and continuing through the 1900’s. The series of blog articles concludes with an attempt to identify the cause of the problem and to suggest a better way forward, taking an approach to Sola Scriptura closer to that envisioned in the thirteen propositions of Thomas Campbell.

4) Comments on Romans

The book of Romans is a marvelous treatise on the eternal plan of God for mankind. It is rich in layers upon layers of deep truths about man’s need for salvation, God’s rich gifts to meet that need, and the appropriate way in which we should respond. Throughout the book is a thread addressing Jew vs Gentile issues, calling on the two groups to accept one another and to stop passing judgment on one another. This series is a short commentary on the book, attempting to show what God’s overall plan for salvation means for relationships and unity within the body of Christ.

If you have not had a chance to read some of these, maybe this overview has stimulated your interest. I hope the articles cause people to think unifying thoughts and perhaps even to take unifying action, promoting the unity of believers for which Jesus prayed.

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