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Unity and Diversity in the New Testament:

Distinguishing Between Bounded Confessional Communities and the Open Public Square

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Some churches only doctrinal test for membership is Joe's claim to be a "Bible believer." The inescapable problem with this is that Hymenaeus and Philetus were Bible believers too--as were the Pharisees, the Judaizers, the ...

In John 17 Jesus prays for his flock to "be brought to complete unity" (v. 23). Yet in Luke 12, he tells his disciples that he did not come to bring peace on earth, but division (v. 51). While often seen as two completely different and contradictory statements, they actually provide a window to explore the broader issues relating to unity and diversity in the New Testament. And this inquiry sheds light particularly on equipping modern Christians in their quest for biblical unity and for a more effective witness in the postmodern world.

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1 [ Back ] Warfield, B. B., "Redeemer & Redemption," The Princeton Theological Review, vol. 14 (1916): 177-201.

Shane Rosenthal is executive producer of The White Horse Inn national radio broadcast which can be heard online at

Issue: "Evangelicalism(TM) Who Owns It?" March/April 2001 Vol. 10 No. 2 Page number(s): 24-27, 30-31

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