Sarah Blake LaRose (3kitties) wrote,
Sarah Blake LaRose

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about dialogue and challenges

The following quote concerns a dialogue that has been taking place between the Church of God and leaders of the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ...

the Church of God participants in this dialogue have tended to learn one or two theological lessons in the process. One is that the movement should take more seriously its own stance of non-creedalism. The challenge for us is not to protect our current perceptions of truth (one way to define denominationalism) so much as it is to continue seeking the most adequate possible apprehension of truth in an open fellowship of maturing believers. Openness and maturing do not survive well in a context of defensiveness and suspicion. It is enabled by widening the circle of disciples who are searching for all that God intends for the whole church to know and be and do. Much overblown has been our movement's historic fear of theological contamination if we should involve ourselves seriously with Christians whose perspectives differ at points from our own. Some of us now are learning that we ought to believe more strongly that truth is not that fragile and that God still superintends the life of his faithful people. In the end, it is not light that yields to darkness, but darkness to light.

We as two church movements have much with which to enrich each other. We have begun to learn from each other and must continue to benefit by building meaningful relationships. While we hold in common the lordship of Jesus Christ, we do not need to arrive at full consensus on doctrinal issues in order to be open to each other, influenced by each other, genuinely valuing and loving each other, and learning to minister with each other. (Barry Callen in Coming Together in Christ, pp. 79-80)

Reading this book makes me think--a lot. I'm thinking about what I said in class the other day... For a long time, I've felt that I need to learn to dialogue; and yet it seems to be a truly difficult challenge for me. Perhaps this reveals an important lesson: that my greatest weaknesses can also show my greatest areas of potential strength.


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