This was a page that the professor handed out for the second to last class of Intro to Biblical Interpretation. I thought it would be a good page to also show you and include as part of the blog rules, because it illustrates doctrines that are essential or non-essential, and how we should respond to differing views on secondary doctrines. Brackets are mine, and Bible verse were removed, leaving only their references to save room, please look them up on your own.
"In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity [grace]" - Augustine
Some examples of secondary doctrinal issues:
~ Eschatology [How/when Christ will return] ~ Ecclesiology [How the church should be run
~ Baptism ~ Interpretation of the Creation Account
~ Spiritual Gifts ~ Divorce and Remarriage
~ Women in Leadership ~ Calvinism and Arminianism
Some recommendations of what we should do
1. Study the Various Views with an Open Mind, Changing our View if the Biblical Evidence is Convincing (Emphasis Added)
(2 Tim. 2:15)
(1 Cor. 13:9-12)
2. Study the Various Views as Expressed by those who Hold them, not just those with opposing views that criticize them.
3. Develop our own Convictions, yet hold them with humility
4. Treat Those who Hold Other Views with Dignity and Respect
5. Make Every Effort to Preserve the Unity of the Spirit Through the Bond of Peace, Established by the Lord Jesus.
Some recommendations of what we should not do.
1. Be Uninformed, or Lazy/Apathetic
2. Be Dogmatic; Closed Minded toward other views [on secondary doctrines]
3. Misrepresent the views of others, in an attempt to win an argument
4. Make secondary issues the litmus test of salvation or evangelical orthodoxy [if you don't believe in infant baptism, or that the world was created in 6, 24 hour days, then I don't think you are a true Christian.]
This really spoke to me during the class, and I really thought "this is how I want the people on my blog to behave," so I thought I would pass it on to you. Let us be salt and light to the world, not have the world drag us down with useless bickering and divisions in the Church due to petty issues.