As good as our speaker was at the conference, I could have missed all this great stuff if I had let some peripheral stuff he alluded to on Friday night bother me. He of course used the trendy word, “Christ-follower” instead of “Christian,” and had a misunderstanding (in my opinion) on the place of corporate (Sunday church) worship.
Lately I have found it incredibly helpful to learn from others outside our own theological camps without completely embracing questionable or distinctive doctrine. I’ve enjoyed John Stott, but I will not embrace his understanding of Hell (very questionable). I love and have learned from John Piper and Marc Driscoll, but I’ll not abandon my belief in infant baptism (distinctive). I’ve been challenged by Donald Miller’s Searching for God Knows What and Bill Hybell’s Just Walk Across the Room video series, but I’ll not embrace their soteriology (the how of salvation; not reformed-distinctive). Our comm group has really benefited from Hybell’s emulation of Jesus’ methodology of evangelism: being an actual friend to “sinners.”
I love Reformed PCA writers like Tim Keller and Randy Pope, but there’s a number of folks out there who will continue to challenge and encourage me. Yet I doubt I will ever depart from my Presbyterian distinctives. Nevertheless, the body of Christ at large has much to offer, even those who are outside your normal comfort zone. Perhaps even people who use trendy language like “Christ-followers” instead of “Christian.”