May I suggest that there is a core of commitments, notably that salvation
is by faith rather than works, that is fundamental. But there are
denominational differences, such as the Lutheran, Calvinistic and
Zwinglian views of the Lord's Supper. The views on baptism are different
with Lutherans and Reformed, though they both practice infant baptism,
which is not recognized among any of the denominations that have some
Anabaptist influence. But even there there are the many who dip once and
the Church of the Brethren/Brethren Church group who dip thrice.
Sprinkled, poured or immersed, I'm sure that those who trust in Christ
will be with Christ eternally, and all who have not faith will reach
perdition, no matter how thoroughly wetted. Beyond the core, I don't know
how to settle matters. And even in the orthodox core, there are some
problems. I think Newton held to salvation by faith without being a
Trinitarian. And I have heard of some non-Trinitarian Pentecostals.
On Tue, 21 Aug 2007 22:31:54 -0400 "David Opderbeck"
These are all great questions as well -- but shouldn't we try to answer
them as well as asking them? If the "Christian tradition" is nothing but
a gaggle of different local traditions without any center of gravity,
isn't that a problem? I guess I'd try to focus on the basic outline of
the Nicene Creed as a rough guideline. Or maybe, using propositional
doctrinal statements as the center of gravity isn't quite right -- maybe
it's more of a MacIntyre-ian tradition; but still, the virtues and
practices inherent to the tradition have to stem from God's revelation in
Christ and in scripture, so that at least some sort of Christological
claims must form a boundary between this tradition and some other one.
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Received on Wed Aug 22 00:49:47 2007
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