Friday, August 31, 2012

Same Confession, Different Practice

Tim Keller:
One reason I wrote my new book Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City is that I believe there is a common misunderstanding of the relationship between doctrine and ministry.

Let me illustrate. A puzzling but common sight today is that many churches share the same doctrinal foundations, yet go about ministry in radically different ways. For example, consider two Presbyterian churches that both subscribe wholeheartedly to the Westminster Confession of Faith and catechisms. The first church uses contemporary music and very little discernible liturgy, employs lay ministers to lead meetings and ministries as well as pastors, and deploys the latest marketing and media strategies. The second church operates in almost the opposite way, using classical music, traditional liturgy, and emphasis on the ordained clergy. They also vigorously criticize the methods of the other church as a betrayal of the Reformed faith, and perhaps even of the gospel itself.

The same doctrinal foundations seem to be producing two completely different sets of ministry expressions. How can that be?
Read the rest.

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