- Paperback: 185 pages
- Publisher: Baker Pub Group (July 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801035600
- ISBN-13: 978-0801035609
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,902,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Evangelical Reunion: Denominations and the One Body of Christ Paperback – July, 1991
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He argues that schism is dangerous stuff, always tragic, and not to be entered into lightly. So, he says, the PCA's leaving the PCUS in 1973 may have been justified, but their not joining up with an existing body like the ARP or OPC at the time was a sin. They made some amends by merging with the RPCES, which itself was a merger of two other bodies. Organic union is not the sole test of catholicity, but it is one important goal. You have to wonder about the PCA and ARP's indifference to even beginning talks of merger.
Frame speaks directly to evangelical churches using evangelical arguments. Similar to Catholic Christopher Dawson, Frame believes that most denominationalism comes about through political, social, and personal disagreements, rather than key theological ones. Frame, as Dawson, even questions the motives and outcomes of the dividing of Christendom at the Reformation. He believes that denominationalism weakens church discipline, weakens the meaning of church membership, causes an imbalance of spiritual gifts, hardens existing divisions, and even destroys church courts. They create unholy alliances, comprise the church's witness to the world, and lead to creedal stagnation, as well as superficiality and distorted priorities. The church becomes parochial rather than universal, emphasizing unhealthy competition among denominational groups and ungodly pride and snobbery. Yet Frame discusses how legitimate forms of denominational loyalty are valid.
Frame outlines a biblical view of tolerance where "[t]he ideal is not a tolerant church where all views are given equal respect (i.e., doctrinal indifference); rather, it is a church where all members are agreed on the truth so that tolerance of opposing views in unnecessary" (p. 91).Read more ›
Dr. Frame sets out to show that denominationalism is in fact not Biblical and only comes into the scene as a result of sin - whether by the original group, the seceding group, or both. His arguments throughout are cogent and convicting. He argues that the Lord set out to establish one united Church Body (Eph. 3:4ff) and not the factional denominations we have today (at least not in their present form). Frame is constantly calling the church back to the Scriptures which call for a unity in truth and love.
His practical suggestions are helpful; and he admittedly does not have all the answers but desires for those who can provide more helpful insight into the dissolving of denominations to come forward.
He shares great insights into the nature of the body of Christ, the divisional character that has come from within it, and some steps we can (and should) take, as evangelicals, toward a stronger unity in the faith. His approach is not to be seen as some rash ecumenical call to boil everything down to the least common denominator so as to be left with nothing but liberalism (and so nothing for the evangelical).
But he does call each believer to be constantly evaluating his own denomination in light of the Scriptures and be prepared to hold to Scripture more than denominational preferences. For an example of his approach, he writes:
"So much of our denominational life is structured according to "us" vs. "them." It's West vs. East, Protestant vs. Catholic, Presbyterian vs. Episcopal, dispensationalist vs. covenant theology, charismatic vs.Read more ›