Guest / Limited Access /

"Nothing justifies schism." This was the sober, stone-faced, and curiously truncated response by N.T. Wright when asked—at last week's Wheaton College Theology Conference—what might justify such action. The question wasn't theoretical: he currently serves as Bishop of Durham in the Church of England.

I attended the Wheaton Conference one day after attending another conference—Together for the Gospel (T4G)—which took place in Louisville and featured a who's who of "Young, Restless, Reformed" leaders/pastors for whom Martin Luther's ultimate schismatic act stands as one of the greatest, most heroic, God-ordained actions in Christian history.

The juxtaposition of these two sold-out conferences, which represent two of the most important strands of evangelical Christianity today (the neo-Reformed movement and the "N.T. Wright is the new C.S. Lewis" movement), made the question (problem?) of unity within the church impressively pronounced.

The conferences were very different, and I would venture to guess that I was one of only a few—if not the only one—to attend both. Louisville and Wheaton are not that far from each other geographically, but my experiences in both places felt like two different worlds. At the end of it all, after more than 20 lectures by renowned speakers (everyone from Mark Dever and John MacArthur to Jeremy Begbie and R.C. Sproul), I was left wondering whether unity really is evident in the church today, and if so, in what sense.

"Nothing justifies schism." In that powerful statement, Wright, perhaps the world's leading Christian theologian/writer/intellectual, was calling for the church to prioritize unity and emphasize common ground, not at the expense of doctrine and not in a universalist ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedPope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
Pope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
(UPDATED) Warren turns Vatican conference into 'revivalist meeting,' while Moore explains why marriage crosses theological boundaries.
TrendingWhite Christians: It's Time to Stand in Solidarity With Your Black Brothers and Sisters
White Christians: It's Time to Stand in Solidarity With Your Black Brothers and Sisters
The history that led us to Ferguson. A guest post by Christena Cleveland
Editor's PickA Decision in Ferguson: How Should Evangelicals Respond?
A Decision in Ferguson: How Should Evangelicals Respond?
The grand jury has made a decision in Ferguson, now we have to make ours. How will we respond?
Comments
Christianity Today
Wrightians and the Neo-Reformed: 'All One in Christ Jesus'
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

April 2010

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.