In this video, we explore the fourth pillar of Davenant’s vision: essentials. What are the real “essentials” of the Christian faith? What really represents Christianity, and where is there room for disagreement?
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0:29: When we’re reasoning about the world, engaging in the public square, and so on we very quickly discover that there are things Christians believe that are essential. If you stop believing that, you cannot self-identify as a Christian anymore. But then there are many other areas of belief and practice where reasonable Christians can differ. That seems like an obvious point, but why is that important to Davenant’s work and mission?
2:29 Let’s give examples. You’ve mentioned the difference between something very central like the divinity of Jesus and details about eschatology, which are more complex and open to debate. How about in the realm of ethics? How does the essential/non-essential work out in our ethical thought?
4:04 There is a tendency in Christian circles to emphasize so much the Bible’s speaking directly to our belief and practice. We think that Scripture speaks to every jot and tittle of an issue and so there is a Christian position on every subject imaginable. Or, on the other hand, we might think “well, Scripture speaks only to these few issues and everything else is admissible.” Is there too much of an attempt to seek out specific texts to guide ethical reflection and not enough of an attempt to use scripture-formed wisdom to make prudent decisions?
6:05 Who is going to help us decide what is essential and what is non-essential?