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Feb 25, 2006

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Denis Hancock

I may be biased, but I think of the four general divisions outlined in this chapter, the Presbyterian/Calvinists have the best balance in spiritual and worldly interests.

When I read this chapter I remembered hearing Marj Carpenter speak in Mid-Missouri 10 years ago. Her usual "Mission! Mission! Mission!" topic was well-aired as well as the reasons she was "sinfully proud to be a Presbyterian". Among those reasons was a bit of historical perspective on the Mission field. Presbyterian Mission in the early part of the 20th century was three-pronged: (1) Evangelism; (2) Medical; and (3) Education. Her obseration was that evangelism was declining and that it was time to reclaim our historically balanced mission heritage.

Michael Kruse

"I may be biased, but I think of the four general divisions outlined in this chapter, the Presbyterian/Calvinists have the best balance in spiritual and worldly interests."

I'm shocked! Shocked! I never would have believed this of you! *grin*

Seriously, I have similar feelings. However, I do see strong elements of the other three present in the PCUSA. It has always been the emphasis on practical application, and the renewing of humanity and culture, that has attracted me to the "Calvinist" stream.

Denis Hancock

I have often heard the phrase "social gospel" spoken with a sneer in the voice. While I can see that many of those who promote the social gospel fail to promote evangelism or spiritual development, the fact still remains that those who truly follow the Lord will be doing many of the things the "social gospel" proponents are urging.

In my opinion, the difference lies in balance. Are we so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good? Or are we so focussed on changing society that we forget who it is that has called us to lives of holiness and service to God and our fellow humans?

Michael Kruse

To me, this is one of those organic polarities. "Which is more important to breathing? Inhaling of exhaling?" The fracture into "social gospel" and "Evangelical" camps was probably one of the most destructive developments of the Twentieth Century. Thankfully, I think I see moves towards intergration of these two aspects in both camps but I think there is much more to be done.

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