I really wanted to put together an article on 1 Peter 2:8, or work on the materials I’ve downloaded from a few blogs, or something, but I am writing an article for the Reformed Baptist Theological Review, and I feel like I’m typing in wet cement. It is titled, currently, anyway, “Textual Criticism and the Ministry of Preaching,” and since I am addressing particular kinds of textual variants, it is slow going. (For those who have procrastinated, www.rbtr.org to subscribe!). I guess I will simply note the following from John Armstrong, and hope to find time, someday, to comment fully:
In a way that is not easy to explain John Paul models something I believe evangelicals need very badly. He demonstrated that a Christian theologian can affirm the faith confessionally, including the distinctives of ones own tradition, while at the same time he can pursue the witness of the Spirit in unity with those who express significant disagreement. Simply put, unity can be pursued without embracing liberalism and the ecumenical agenda of the mid-to-late twentieth century. One does not have to deny the basic points upon which we remain divided while we also have meaningful conversation and relationship. The place to begin is with core orthodoxy, a classical Christian confession that inspires both faith and action (e.g., the Apostles Creed, The Nicene Creed, etc.). This man understood that point. His agenda is still to be worked out in the decades ahead but John Paul II set a new direction that many evangelicals, myself included, openly welcome.
Just one comment: “Christian theologian,” “affirm the faith,” “witness of the Spirit,” “core of orthodoxy.” All mean “the gospel of grace does not define the Body of Christ.” Just a thought.