John 17: 21a May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. (HCSB)
The Crux of the Matter
Today I would like to recommend a great book focusing on current unity issues within the churches of Christ:The Crux of The Matter: Crisis, Tradition, and the Future of the Churches of Christ
by Jeff W. Childers, Douglas A. Foster, and Jack R. Reese
Abilene Christian University
This is the first book in the "Heart of the Restoration" series by these authors. First the reader is given a fascinating look at the historical roots of the churches of Christ. The authors show that the message of these churches was articulated in the language of its time, the modern era, an age of science and reason. Then the authors address the current crisis in these churches as the world around them transitions to a postmodern mindset, one where the mechanically logical message traditionally associated with these churches has more limited relevance.
As they discuss the crux of the matter, they postulate that there are some issues that are more centrally important than others. Issues closely related to the cross are the core issues. According to the authors, the churches of Christ have a history of dividing over issues that do not really matter. That is, they are not the crux of the matter.
My hope is that we can avoid the mistakes of the past, where everything was made to be a core issue. History shows us that such an approach leads to division and not unity. I believe it can be demonstrated that the apostles did not take that approach. Let's allow the scriptures to tell us what is crucial.
I believe that anyone attempting to bring about unity must contemplate a pivotal question: What are the crucial issues on which we must agree? This book addresses that question in a fresh, relevant, and urgent way. Clearly some conservatives in the churches of Christ are not comfortable with where this book seems to be leading. But the authors raise a question that we must consider if we are to make progress toward the unity for which Jesus prayed. I believe this book points in a constructive direction.
Labels: Book Review