Re: [asa] ID as theological necessity (old Timaeus discussion, new PSCF artic...

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Wed Dec 17 2008 - 12:48:33 EST

I apologize for being too brief, & therefore unclear, in posing these
questions. When I referred to "church fellowship" I really had in mind the
question of what degree of theological agreement is necessary in order for 2
church bodies to be in fellowship - the sort of thing that was dealt with,
e.g., in discussions that led to the current agreement between the Episcopal
Church in the United States and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
("Communio in sacris" is a fancier term than "church fellowship.") While
the question of what is necessary in order for an individual to join a
congregation may be similar, the issues will generally not be dealt with as
systematically, and at as high a level of theological sophistication, as
will negotiations between church bodies.

& I should point out that the question is appropriate for this list only in
the context in which I posed it - i.e., how much agreement about issues such
as intelligent design, evolution &c is needed for church fellowship. Thus I
resist, & encourage others to resist, getting into debates on the list about
homsexuality, Buddhism, & other matters that might be provoked by Burgy's

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Burgeson (ASA member)" <>
To: "David Opderbeck" <>
Cc: "George Murphy" <>; <>
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 11:56 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] ID as theological necessity (old Timaeus discussion, new
PSCF artic...

> On 12/16/08, David Opderbeck <> wrote:
>> What is necessary for church fellowship depends on context. My ideal
>> is simply assent to the basic outline of the ecumenical creeds
>> (Apostles / Nicene) and a desire to grow in faith and holiness.
>> All IMHO of course.
> "Church Fellowship" is a vague term. How about "church membership?"
> But even that is vague in some places, particularly small rural
> places.
> In my daughter's Metropolitan church they recently admitted to
> membership a fellow who was raised Jewish and did not want to give
> that up. Being gay, he could find no other congregation that would
> accept him.
> There was quite a controversy. A few folks left.
> I think admitting him to membership was the right thing to do, for it
> placed his humanity over a narrow theological view. Most Metropolitan
> members are quite familiar at being excluded from various groups.
> We had no such problems in our small Rico church, although our piano
> player was a gay buddist and at least one regular attender also tended
> towards that position. Both were easier to fellowship with than some
> orthodox Christians I have known.
> I don't know the real answers to all the obvious questions this
> raises. I do know that the accepting and welcoming of people of all
> persuasions is an absolute essential of the faith I call Christianity

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Received on Wed Dec 17 12:49:43 2008

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