Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I Agree With Peter Masters?!?!

Good grief, what is the world coming to. For quite some time, it has been common knowledge that some men (interestingly enough, who's surnames begin with the letter "M") rile me. A lot of stuff that they say is guaranteed to make my blood begin to boil - and is usually dead cert for a rant. While I have a deep love for C H Spurgeon, and an equal love for the Tabernacle bookshop (although Geneva Books in Clapham is better), I don't think I could ever be classed as a Masters fan. Psychologists would put that down to an early diet of Masters quotes from the pulpit of my home church and books being rammed down my throat like his one on the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Anyway I was just racing through the "Together for the Gospel" website (yes, another "M") and I saw that Mark Dever met Peter Masters yesterday. And this was what Peter Masters had to say on "unity at any cost".

"Dr. Masters was also concerned that associations of different Christians together not undermine what he referred to as "the ministry of warning." He (correctly, I think) noted that when Christians associate together there is a great pressure against disagreeing. This, he thinks, is quite dangerous. NOT that there should not be associations, simply that we must especially guard this ability, in order to faithfully fulfill our ministries".

I couldn't agree more! It is a very difficult balance to correctly hold and I think one that depends on us being able to know how to debate graciously, lovingly and with a sense of humour - yet be able to walk away at the end of the debate knowing that we love and worship the same Risen Saviour and Lord. I must pay tribute to the Christians in the USA who (I think) have managed this far better than us here in the UK. The fact that Drs Grudem and Gaffin can share a conference platform is a tribute to this.

It is encouraging as well that Dever seems to agree with Masters on this. One of my voiced observations on this up-coming conference in April is the question, what exactly will be discussed and taught if all differences and disagreements are left outside at the Brazen Altar?

Maybe this conference will actually teach us in the UK a valuable lesson in how to disagree and yet remain united. I for one will be following the Question and Answer sessions with the panel of speakers with particular interest. I think these sessions often reveal more about the "behind the scenes" feelings and thoughts more than the presented talks!


Anonymous said...

Yes indeed - I couldn't agree more. Note as well that when John Piper was over in the UK in 1999, he spoke at Caister (the anti-charismatic FIEC conference) and at an Elders Conference for Newfrontiers in Brighton!

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