Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fullness of the Faith

"No particular denominational body can encompass all the richness and completeness of the broad historic Christian faith. The various denominations reflect a collage of God’s redeemed people... The Holy Spirit and the truth of Scripture are not the exclusive property of any one denomination within Christendom’s vast domain. Therefore Christians of various traditions have both common elements as well as distinctive features to share with their brothers and sisters in Christ in other denominations." ~ Kenneth Samples

I must first say that I stole the title from Mr. Samples' article (click on the title to see his article). I took it because I think that there is wisdom in thinking of denominations in such a fashion.

Many evangelicals today focus purely on the drawbacks to the many denominations that exist today. To be certain, there are many drawbacks, but denominations also provide a great service. One thing that often comes to my mind, which Mr. Samples points out later in his article, is that they provide a type of theological peer review. If we were all one denomination and all shared one creed on every theological issue we could very easily begin to exalt said creed as authoritative instead of Scripture and slip into heresy. With peers to critique our theology and offer a different perspective or interpretation we are (should be) brought back the Scripture to examine their beliefs and our own. Protestants who focus only on the drawbacks to denominations might want to consider what the Church would look like today if men like Martin Luther, John Calvin, or Ulrich Zwingli had not broken from the Roman Catholic Church and created a type of denomination.

Do we go overboard today? Yes, I believe we do. This, to me, is all the more reason to stop widening the gap by focusing on the drawbacks, stop disavowing all denominations (which is actually not possible), and start closing the gap by forming relationships with others from other denominations that can sharpen us in our Christian lives.

By His Grace,



Taylor, great post. In the last few years my perspective has changed radically concerning denominations. I have seen the benefits of humility in denominations and that it can be a case where iron sharpens iron.

I think the Together for the Gospel conference where R.C. Sproul, John Piper, Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Ligon Duncan, Mark Devor, John MacArthur and others are all speaking is a great example of how leaders from different denominations can work together to further the gospel.


Taylor, here is the link to the messages from both the 2006 and 2008 conferences for you and anyone else who may be interested. The messages are free.

Again, I think it is a great thing that leaders representing many different groups of churches and denominations can stand together affirming the central truth of the gospel.

Here also is another link that is interesting:

These are the affirmations and denials embraced by those speaking at the conference.