For several years, the students in a local campus ministry had me give seminars at their fall retreat. I think I ended up giving four or five different ones over as many years. Since I don't have a lot of time to post much this week, I thought I'd post my notes for one of these seminars. I've been wanting to put those notes online for a while now anyway. This was a talk on how to deal with the tension between the unity and diversity among Christians, designed primarily for an audience of Christian college students. The seminar was on October 19, 2002, about a year before I started a blog. I have left everything as it is in my notes, except one typo fix and one brief note toward the end about a section that appears to me missing (but probably never existed).Four issues about unity and diversity will haunt us as we look through this:
A. Differences in belief in practice
B. Differences in ability or gifting
C. Differences of race, ethnicity, or other cultural issues
D. Different campus groups or local churches
What does unity look like when people disagree about the Bible’s teachings and how we should live? How does it work with different strengths and weaknesses? How can we seek unity across social barriers or cultural walls? What do we do on campus with different Christian groups, and what about local churches?
The first thing is to look to God’s word. We can see some things in the process and come back to anything else after looking at some passages. I have some thoughts on these below, but we might leave some things for a discussion time.