Craig Blomberg on Separation

One can scarcely reflect at length on verses 10-17 without raising serious questions about the history of Christian denominationalism. There have no doubt been times when certain wings of the church have become so heretical or disobedient that faithful disciples have often pointed to the Reformation as the classic example of this, although some church historians wonder what would have happened if Luther had worked more patiently within the Roman Catholic Church for another generation, given the winds of change heralded already by Erasmus and arguable stifled by Luther’s tactical intransigence.

But surely the majority of Christian denominations, particularly the numerous subgroups into which most of the major branches of Protestantism have split, have been spawned at least as much by personal rivalry, animosity, and a spirit of intolerance, often along geographical or ethnic lines. As Snyder puts it, “Theological plurality has not been as much a problem as alienating behavior, a behavior which has developed a sense of uncompromising rectitude on the part of some people.”

Although I’m enjoying this commentary on the whole, these types of statements from evangelicals really bother me. Not to mention what he might be implying about the need for the reformation…

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