It’s one of the four instincts that we think defines the Pietist ethos: to trust that Christians are better together than apart. Around Bethel, it shows up as an “irenic [or peaceable] spirit” that leads us to avoid needless controversy and try to reach decisions by consensus; in the Evangelical Covenant Church, it results in our affirmation of having the “freedom in Christ” to disagree about most matters while still remaining “mission friends.”
In this episode, Mark, Sam, and I talk through what it means for Pietists to “[make] every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3): why that’s hard, generation-spanning work, and why it’s essential to Christian mission and witness.
You can find this episode (and all others) of The Pietist Schoolman Podcast on iTunes and at Feedburner.
- Chris Gehrz, “What We Mean When We Say We Want Christian Unity,” The Pietist Schoolman, Aug. 26, 2015
- Evangelical Covenant Church, “Freedom in Christ,” Covenant Affirmations
- Christian T. Collins Winn, “Pietism and the Practice of Civil Discourse,” in The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education: Forming Whole and Holy Persons, ed. Christopher Gehrz (IVP Academic, 2015)
- David Gushee, “Conservative and progressive US evangelicals head for divorce” and “The great evangelical divorce: Continuing the conversation,” Religion News Service, Feb. 12 and Feb. 15, 2016
- Andy Crouch, Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power (IVP Books, 2013), pp. 94-97
- David Brooks, “How to Fix Politics,” The New York Times, Apr. 12, 2016
- Kirk Livingston, ListenTalk: Is Conversation an Act of God? (iUniverse, 2015)
Cross-posted at The Christian Humanist