Jeffrey Bingham, the chair of the theology department at Dallas Theological Seminary, has a phrase he uses when people advocate something that is not a part of the historic Christian faith: “It’s something, but it’s not Christian.” More and more lately I have been asking this question: When do we, in our zeal to remove possible stumbling blocks to the Gospel, offer a form of Christianity that is no longer Christian?

The last few months, in keeping up with my weekly reading of “what is happening now” in theology, I have begun to experience theological nausea. My spirit is sick and it is about to hurl. I don’t know what that looks like, but it does not feel right. There are simply too many “opt outs” being offered – we are beginning to look more like a cafeteria than a church.

In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty . . . right? Let me try to briefly state the issue that I have, today, at 5:24pm CST. I am getting the feeling that Christian apologists and theologians, in order to make our faith more palatable to the outside world, are attempting to move all difficulties of our faith into the “non-essential” category in order to create “opt outs.” This is where just about everything outside of the person and work of Christ becomes negotiable. When does the form of Christianity we offer become something different than the historic Christian faith?

Some examples are in order here (please forgive the snarky spirit of the following):

1. Problem with the doctrine of eternal punishment? No problem. We have these two less common options: universalism or annihilationism. You can believe that all people will eventually be saved or that all the damned will cease to exist.

2. Problem with the truthfulness of Scripture? No issue at all. There is no need to believe that the Scripture is true in everything it says, only the “big parts” like Christ’s resurrection.

3. Problem with a donkey talking and other crazy things? Let me point you to an important word: “metaphor.” Yep, just about any portion of Scripture can be turned into a metaphor, myth, parable, symbol, or any number of things. Point being, you don’t have to accept it.

4. Problem with creation account in Genesis? No need to get down. We have lots of options here, including our latest, theistic evolution. The point is that whatever modern science proposes, you can accept. (See number 3 for the means of acceptance.)

5. Problem with God’s allowing for evil? Easy. We have an option that says God, in order to preserve freedom and true love, cannot know about (much less intervene) in the free-will evil choices that people make. Therefore, he is off the hook. Its called “open theism.” Have fun.

6. Problem with the doctrine of election? I understand. This is a particularly nasty one. However, no need to fear. You don’t have to believe this. There is a modified form of divine election which says God’s choice is based on your choice. There . . . the sting is gone.

7. Problem with the exclusivity of Christ? Again, we have the answer. Nowadays, we have this idea called “inclusivism.” With this fancy option, we say that people can be covered by the blood of Christ without actually accepting the Gospel. Awesome.


8. Speaking of the “blood” of Christ, some of you might have a problem with the idea that the Father sacrificed his son (and that he was actually happy about it). You know all that archaic stuff about sacrifices and the shedding of blood? You don’t have to accept that either. There are some who believe that Christ was an example rather than the subject of “divine child abuse.” God’s forgiveness is based on his love, not blood.

9. Problem with homosexuality being a sin? Don’t let that hold you back. Many of our most astute theologians have been able to rework this issue so that there is an option on the table which proposes that homosexuality was not universally condemned in the Scripture. Though the ranks of those who advocate this may be few, it is enough to create a loophole to get out of this one. There are even many “gay churches” that you can attend.


10. Problem with male headship in the church and family? This is one of the easier ones. We have tons of representatives in the church (even denominations) which disagree here. You are free to reject any idea of male headship based upon “cultural context.”

Okay. I am done with the examples…

Here is the problem I have. While I hold to pretty traditional beliefs in these areas, many (not all) of these listed I agree with. In other words, I do believe there are some legitimate alternatives, most notably on the issue of election. While I am a Calvinist, being very committed to unconditional divine election, I understand there are alternative options here that are viable. In short, I don’t believe that a rejection of unconditional election amounts to a rejection of Christianity.

However, when does our removal of intellectual and emotional stumbling blocks create an aberration of Christianity that is Christian only in name? When does our theology get manipulated enough to where it is no longer Christian theology? When do we offer so many choices on the Christian smörgåsbord that the cafeteria’s name needs to change? When does our theology cross the line to where it is “something, but not Christian”?

While writing this, I was talking to a friend who said that she knows a person whom she is trying to evangelize, but that this person has some “issues” with the Christian faith. She wants to bring the friend to the Credo House to discuss them with me. I said in jest, “No problem. Whatever issue the person has, we have multiple alternatives! I can get out of anything.” In other words, whatever their problem is, so long as it is not about the resurrection of Christ, “we know a guy” that can take care of it, if you know what I mean.

I am suspicious of any mindset that is compelled to produce all of these “opt-outs” in order to make Christianity more palatable. Who said that was our job? When did palatability become a test for veracity? Sometimes we believe things that are not palatable, don’t we? Is our desire to be intellectually and culturally viable causing our witness to misrepresent “the faith once for all handed over to the saints”? When do we lose the “fellowship of the saints” due to our minimalization of the Christian faith? Just because something is hard to believe, does this give us the right to scavenger hunt for other options? When have we pulled up so many anchors that we are adrift in a different sea? When is it “something, but not Christian”?

I am tired of all the options. Can we just preach our convictions in the church and not the cafeteria?

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Find him everywhere: Find him everywhere

    65 replies to "I Am Tired of All the Options"

    • Gary Simmons

      Michael: I’m tired of the options, too. I’m reading Robert Gagnon’s The Bible and Homosexual Practice at the moment. I even take it to work with me, though so far it has only started one conversation.

      I’m tired of coming across arguments such as “the Bible may prohibit homosexuality, but the only kind that existed back then was exploitative and/or related to idolatrous cult worship.” Bleh. In Biblical times, women were viewed as minors, and minors can’t technically give consent. So, does that mean the Bible likewise only forbids exploitative (i.e. nonconsensual) forms of adultery, such that consensual adultery today is permissible?

      No. But if we tried hard enough, we could find someone who might actually believe that!

      Let’s just preach what’s real and what we believe. Christ didn’t exactly make things palatable in requiring us to take up our cross and put God above family. Why should we?

    • Alexander M. Jordan

      Hi Michael.

      I’m with you– I think that the offering of all these so-called
      options are a way of trying to make Christianity a better sell. But the message of the cross, when rightly presented, offends human pride and intellect and demands a humble response (1 Cor 1:23-30). Of course postmodern society disbelieves in the concept of absolute truth, and it seems many of those “marketing” these options have been infected with this way of thinking. But if we hunger for the real thing, compromised versions of Christianity will not provide the deep satisfaction of mind, heart and soul that we seek. But let us keep hungering and thirsting for righteousness, for we will be blessed and satisfied in their pursuit (Matt 5:6).

    • nick altman (Luther007)

      Michael, Im confused by this post. It sounds like saber rattling to me; which is ourside of your normal character of writing.

      It seems to me that theology has always been evolving, and that has never stopped, even if inscripturation did.

      There have always been theological disputes and differences (Hillel vs. Shammai, Aryanism vs. Orthodoxy, Iconoclasts vs. the Iconstasis, [talk about fighting a wall] etc…)

      Assuming Jesus tarries, theology will continue to evolve. Some of those evolutions are going to be abstractions, some abberant ones, and others will become tomorrows orthodoxy.

      Anyway, my two cents…

    • John Lollard


      I hate to be nit-picky, and maybe you know something I don’t, but I’ve never understood inclusivism as “that people can be covered by the blood of Christ without actually accepting the Gospel”. I thought that was universalism. Inclusivism I always was thought was more along the lines of how Abraham was saved by the sacrifice of Christ because he did accept the Gospel even if he had no actual idea of the extent of it. Am I wrong in this?

      In Christ,

    • Dan Olinger


      I’m at the beach this week, and while away from home I like to visit churches–preferably churches that are very different from mine. Went to a liberal church last Sunday; just wanted to stay informed. They had communion, and I noted that they referred to the bread as the “body” of Christ, but the juice (whatever it was–I didn’t take any) as the “love” of Christ. I’d expect that from a liberal church. Too bad the left wing of evangelicalism is going down the same road, just a century later.

    • mbaker

      Options, since when the did the Lord give us options as to what WE think?

      Think that is a more man invented type thing.

    • Kim

      I’m sure Pontius Pilate was conflated with more options then just those related to Christianity yet this blog reminded me of his frustration when he responds to Christs words that he, Christ, came into the world to bear witness to the truth and everyone who was of the truth would hear his, Christ’s, voice,, and Pilate’s infamous response..”what is truth?”

      All 10 of the things (well 9, I agree election not vital) are obviously not taught in scripture..they are non-options , yet there seems to be some force coercing Christians to accept these”optional” things. They don’t seem too optional to me. They are hashed over and talked about , weighed as if they are vital….how can they be optional? in the sense that they are not worth haggling over. Coming to the truth (not like I have, but I certainly try) is hard work and takes labor, including arguing over “optional” issues.

    • Ed Kratz


      Great to hear from you. I would agree that this post is somewhat out of character as I am often the one who is giving people the options, cautioning about being too dogmatic.

      However, I do think that there is a line. I don’t know where it is, but there is one. Dwight Pentecost of DTS used to say that everyone is entitled to one pet heresy. If we define heresy as something that departs from both the biblical witness and the historic Christian confession, I would say that we are offering more than one. 🙂

      But, concerning “evolving” of doctrine. I don’t really like the word “evolve” when it come to these issues. (Though I may have used it myself). I would rather say “maturing.” That way the polar opposite is not advocated.

      In the end, just because there are many options, this does not mean that all options are equal.

    • Ed Kratz

      John, universalism is the belief that all will be saved. Inclusivism is that people who have never heard the Gospel can be saved without the Gospel though the blood of Christ. It is an issue primarily dealing with the destiny of the unevangelized.

    • cherylu

      I agree with you Michael. I’m tired of “options” too. And it sounds like quite a few folks are.

      Anymore it doesn’t seem like there is very much that a person can assume someone else believes just because someone says that they are a Christian. It has not always been that way.

    • Dn4sty

      While many of these I agree with you, I find myself shaking my head on numbers 4. 5, 6, 10.

      I’m not naive to think that if you just read what I have read then you will come to my conclusion, but especially with 10, I dont know what else I could read that would make me change to a complementarian position. Also the historic christian faith speaks of women leading in many places.

      I wonder if professors and those who teach would not face fear of losing a position, not being able to take care of their family through finances, etc.. would actually affirm. For example I think a rather obvious example would be innerrancy. I think many people say they affirm to keep their job and not because they actually believe it to be true

    • Ed Kratz


      As I said in the post, some of these are more legit than others. My point was simply that we need to assess whether we are motivated to give opt outs for traditional Christian doctrine due to the offense that they cause.

    • nick altman (Luther007)

      I would agree that not all options are equal, but the question is which are and which are not.
      The only way to decide this is in discourse (done respectfully and prayerfully.) Of course you know this…and thats why the initial post disturbs me. As one of the dirty TE folk, and a Boethian (making me neither calvinist nor arminian) I am doubly doomed (and my view of #2. don’t get me started.) I dig conversation, not a fan of rigid orthodoxy (although a generous one works.)

      I can accept maturation, so long as we can agree its organically maturing, and hence its maturation is fairly unpredictable. Many of your list of shibboleths up there just may be tomorrow’s sacraments. E.G – we all are likely wrong on several of our views – and this should inspire humility in us all. God’s dogma’s must not be identical to ours (or we would be religiously perfected, doctrinally pure.)


    • If I understand it correctly it seems to me the issue behind this post is one of attitude, whether we should change what we believe to make it palatable to the public at large. The problem with doing this is that no part of Christianity is really palatable to the public at large. If we are seeking truth we may end up disagreeing, but be at least have an approachable goal. But if we try to please everyone, we will end up like the man and the boy in Aesop’s fables with our donkey in the drink and losing everything.

    • rick

      So if I don’t agree with you, then I am just trying to ignore the Bible and come up with a culturally acceptable forms of the gospel?!!??

      I don’t want accept “hard teachings” and just want to opt out, so I made up my own stuff to make myself feel better?!?!!?

      Maybe I just got there with better theology and biblical exegesis?

    • Ed Kratz


      It could be. Now I have another option! Grrr. I’m sick of it!!!

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Egalitarianism is an aberrant option.

      Theistic evolution is an aberrant option.

      Errancy of Scripture is an aberrant option.

      “Same-Sex behavior is not a sin” is an aberrant option.

      Good post, CMP. I’m glad that your soul is experiencing theological and spiritual nausea from all the watered-down aberrant options being offered.

    • Eddie

      People are not “converted” to Christianity just to make a church’s metrics for conversion look better. Jesus Himself spoke of casting pearls before swine. We’re making converts that are predestined to be “comformed to the image of Christ”. That’s going to require getting to know God and His truth.

      God, in His brilliance, communicated the truth to us exactly as He wanted it presented. Twisting it and turning it to accomodate the people of today will not make it better or more effective. God warned us that there would be people trying to “tickle the ears” of people just to make Christianity more pleasing, so I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised.

      I’m encouraged to see a new generation of young believers that are tired of the junk and are returning to the truth of Scripture. It seems that Christianity needs a Reformation every few generations for the sake of “the remnant chosen according to the election of grace”.

      God knows what He’s doing. I’m glad to know that…

    • Greg


      As newer doctrines are being formed, more options are usually present. Only over time are the options narrowed down and settled upon. You’re stuck in a cross-section view and lamenting the fact that we’re not 200 years from now with everything already worked out.

      Its easy to forget all the hard work, debate, and councils that had to take place over many, many years before our currently orthodox positions took center stage as the only viable option. At one point there were many options available for understanding the Trinity or Christ’s dual nature. Not so today.

      For example, in a 100 years there will probably be a settled way to understand Genesis in light of human/animal evolution and an old earth/universe. You won’t have aberrant options like YEC, PC, and ID muddying up the waters too much because people will know how lacking they are in explaining scripture and science. It’s already happening now, even.

      Given time, I bet the same will occur to the other nine…

    • John

      Is someone saying that truth evolves? Hopefully I am adjusting my beliefs to be in line with God’s Word, that’s the evolution. Sadly much theology today is lining up God’s Word with the ‘other truths’ – science, love (ie tolerance), feelings, impossibility of miraculous, et al.

      The gospel is the essential, so 7 and 8 are probably the only true essentials for personal salvation. But all the others relate to the gospel and thus are important
      1) no need for Jesus to be punished in someone’s place
      2) how do you decide what parts are ‘big’, the cross can be discarded if you want
      3) no miracles – no resurrection
      4) no representative Head in sin or in Christ
      5) God is not so powerful after all, can he really save like he promised?
      6) you’ve got a lot of Scriptures to overlook or bend, undermining belief in the whole counsel
      9) you can’t go on willfully sinning and be in Christ. No different than than other sex sin
      10) this makes Christ as head of church change

    • JWY

      Part 1 of 3

    • Quarkgluonsoup

      This is the problem with locking yourself into a theological straightjacket (in America that is usually Calvinism). What is interesting is that catholics have few of the problems mentioned above. Catholics have always seen the bible as being full of allagory and metaphore, and have never seen a need to “compromise” any principle in order to take something as less than literal. If someone has the issues above, become a catholic, or if they don’t like the liturgy, something similar like Lutheran. You really don’t have to pick and choose, as most of these “problems” are our own creation.

      I find it especially odd that Americans get so hung up in the whole issue of predestination. Calvinism is an extreme form of protestantism, and the English saw this all too well during the time of Cromwell, which is why his party (the puritans) were so pressured to leave and stop causing trouble. If you only experience is this, you would think that an issue like that is as important as…

    • JWY

      Part 1 of 3
      CMP, it is my opinion (for what it’s worth) that you’re describing a symptom and consequence of the liberalization and democratization of the evangelical church and the postmodern assault on truth in the culture at large. People are so anti-authority, anti-establishment, anti-tradition. This is one of the reasons why the idea of an ‘evangelical ecclesiology’ is an oxymoron. I’m tired of hearing lead pastors say we need to ‘wrestle with this or that,’ as if there is absolutely no certainty in the core doctrines of the Christian faith. I understand that not every issue has been settled, but many have, and I recognize the value of the community of faith,’ but whatever happened to a ‘lead’ pastor, ’stepping into the pulpit and declaring, from the Scriptures, “this is that?” or “thus saith the Lord,” with boldness, knowing and acknowledging that ‘his’ exegesis of Scripture is consistent with historic, orthodox Christian dogma? And since when did that become…

    • JWY

      Part 2 of 3
      It is increasingly apparent that many in evangelicalism have been exerting way too much creative license. What is up with this relentless obsession for novelty? I get it that community groups are beneficial, but I’m not allowing the village idiot come into my home and spout off his unlearned opinions about the faith in some reader-response hermeneutical disaster. The same could be said for many who rant on these blogs with little to no theological background. How many people throw Christian scholarship under the bus, but couldn’t name a single scholar, let alone critically engage their work. How many decry Reformed confessionalism, but couldn’t name one confession, let alone understand it in light of Scripture and the context in which it was written? It’s my opinion that many people just need to shut up, read a little bit, get some perspective, mature in their knowledge and reverence for the faith and the Church, and then engage in respectful dialogue.

    • Mark

      In most of these issues, people bring an outside idea to the Bible and demand that it “prove” their idea. In all these issues, if we approach the Bible asking “What does the Bible say?” instead of “Does the Bible say this” then we wouldn’t have all these options. Example, if you go to the Bible asking “Who get’s saved?” you would find that the elect do. If you go to the Bible asking “Do we have libertarian freewill to choose God?” we can probably proof text some verses to find the answer we want.

    • Quarkgluonsoup

      Oh and for those of you with issues over evolution, I suggest reading “The Lost World of Genesis One”. Again, we have made a problem out of something really presents no problems. No lesser theologian than Augustine noted that the bible isn’t always “literal” and that if something the bible says seems to contradict a known scientific fact (in his day a good example would be the fact that the earth was obviously round, although there are a few reference in the bible that suggest it isn’t) then we shouldn’t be so blind as to reject that scientific fact, and assume that our method of reading the bible is infallable.

      I always thought of TE as being somewhat clunky, but close to a good answer. The first question to ask on this matter is, what was the author of the creation stories trying to tell us? Was he trying to write history or something else? The simple fact is that we have imposed our own values and method of understanding the world on a text written when a diffent way was…

    • JWY

      Part 3 of 3
      I close my rant, unapologetically, with a diagnostic quote from Dr. Michael Horton:
      “The French commentator Alexis de Tocqueville could observe the distinctly American craving for, as he puts it “the desire to escape from all imposed systems, and to seek by themselves and in themselves for the only reason for things, looking to results. So each man is narrowly shut up in himself, and from that basis makes the pretension to judge the world.” ~ Michael Horton

    • Ed Kratz

      Its not a matter of diversity that I am talking about here. I appreciate diversity. It is more a matter of evangelism and apologetics. I think we are becoming more and more content to force diversity in theological opinions, making the idea of multiple options be our best leg forward. We are scared that people will get offended by our “closet doctrines” so we are quick to give them a way out, even if that way out is not well represented or very biblical.

      It is the opt out mentality that creates a sort of theological seeker sensitive movement that we approaching. The options are given not because of their legitimacy or historic representation, but because we don’t want to offend or lose our audience too quickly.

    • JWY

      One last quote:

      “A word [doctrine or faith] that can mean anything means nothing. If “evangelical identity” means drawing no boundaries, then we really have no center, no matter what we might claim. The fundamental issue is truth, and though the modernist may call us wrong and the postmodernist may call us naive, there is nowhere else for us to stand…” ~ R. Albert Mohler Jr.

    • Theology Samurai

      I think what you clearly see here is the culture’s immense influence on theological opinion. Many of these disputes do not find their origin in the text of Scripture, but rather are brought into Scripture with the unfortunate effect of warping it’s meaning so that it is in line with current cultural opinion. It will continue. What the culture considers good today will be the theological dispute of tomorrow.

    • Jim

      Good post!

    • jim

      jWY . though I agree with some of your thoughts telling many people to shut up is not really engaging in respectful dialogue. There was a time when the pastor held all knowledge and power, indeed even the church did, but in the building of faith and practice in today’s world we do questions and seek better understanding. I see progression, some of which will disolve away and some of which will become doctrinal.

      that’s my uneducational two cents worth.

    • JWY

      jim, with all due respect, ‘respectful dialogue’ includes alot more than superficial Victorian niceties.

    • jim

      AS well, Is it possible that a truth declared today may not be a truth at a later date? Are we that certain of all our interpretations of scripture. Michael, I see your point clearly that we shouldn’t choose what is most platable to us. But I still see male headship as a cultural issue within scripture. We see evolution(bad word) maturation of this with many women pastors and teachers in many churches today.

      Keep up the good work, hope your feeling better soon and not so sick!!!LOL

    • Antioch

      Seems we are easily factionalized. Paul’s letters are generally to bring back the wayward churches to the fold – a fold that the apostles knew so much better than anyone who has been alive for 2000 years and yet it still happened to the church during their time.

      The councils were formed to try and retain unity because obviously, we were factionalizing.

      Much discussion these days about the ‘greek’ influence on what was originally a jewish religion. Seems we are just continuing to ‘americanize’ the religion in the same way.

      It seems to be a pattern and unless you want to return to burning people for heresy, factionalization is going to continue. I wonder if Satan is behind it or if it is our nature and a means for God to refine us (or both).

    • JWY

      “Augustine himself believed that there was a distinctively Christian language, what he called the “church’s way of speaking [ecclesiastica loquendi consuetude]…There is nothing wrong with the method; the problems begin when some of its outcomes prove to be dangerous. What happens if the new ideas turn out to be Trojan horses, allowing intellectual forces outside the gates of the church to take it over?” Alister McGrath, Heresy: A History of Defending the Truth, pp. 179-80.

      My concern is that the church sometimes appears slow to defend the truth: not apologetically against the critique of the secular world, but polemically, against the ‘evolving’ heresies within its own gates.

    • JWY

      “In the beginning was Diversity. And the Diversity was with God, and the Diversity was God. Without Diversity was nothing made that was made. And it came to pass that nasty old ‘orthodox’ people narrowed down diversity and finally squeezed it out, dismissing it as heresy. But in the fullness of time (which is of course our time), Diversity rose up and smote orthodoxy hip and thigh. Now, praise be, the only heresy is orthodoxy. As widely and as unthinkingly accepted as this reconstruction is, it is historical nonsense: the emperor has no clothes.” D. A. Carson

    • Damon

      Revelation 3:16
      So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

      ….sounds like nausea to me.

    • Lucian

      people advocate something that is not a part of the historic Christian faith

      Protestants, you mean? If they didn’t have any problem whatsoever with doing precisely this for the last 500 years, what exactly makes you think they’re gonna change now? 😐 Do you, for instance, have any problem with the acute lack of Protestant distinctives prior to the 16th century? If not, then what makes you think your article will touch anyone else’s heart and mind? It won’t. Your argument is as true as it is useless and futile. (I’m sorry, I don’t want to depress you, I’m just stunned at your approach given the circumstances, that’s all…)

    • JWY

      1 of 2

      Lucian, your crass caricature and misrepresentation of the Reformation is at best revisionist history, at its worst, confirmation of my earlier remarks in this thread. I actually lost count of the number of logical fallacies you committed in that pathetic post.

      For starters, please read the following books and then reconsider your post.

      “Histories and Fallacies: Problems faced in the Writing of History” by Carl R. Trueman and

      “Roman Catholicism: Evangelical Protestants Analyze What Divides and Unites Us” by John Armstrong, ed.,

    • JWY

      2 of 2

      To pique your interest, here is a short snippet from the second book edited by John Armstrong…

      “During the Middle Ages many reformations had occurred in the life of the church. But all of them were movements for moral reform. They sought to address various moral abuses and corruptions of the personal and institutional life in the church. The great Reformation of the sixteenth century also addressed various moral problems in the church. But the essence of the Reformation was doctrinal. The Reformers were persuaded that the spiritual and moral corruption of the church stemmed from doctrinal error that needed to be reformed by the Word of God.” In ‘What Really Caused The Great Divide,’ by W. Robert Godfrey, p. 65.

    • Ed Kratz

      U probably need to become better familiar with a Protestant understanding of doctrinal development. This will not make u agree but it will temper your comments so that they are not quit so ill-informed. Do a search on this blog for “a progressive understanding of orthodoxy”.

      Depressed over a disagreement? Well, if that were the case I would be in the wrong business!!

    • Steve D

      I find it rather ironic that someone who subscribes to a theology that is roughly 500 years old. Christianity itself is roughly 2,000 years old which means that Calvinism is only one quarter of the total life span of Christianity. I wonder what would have happened if Calvin had thought “I’m tired of all of the options.”

    • Matt


      I don’t know if you remember me, but I met you briefly when I was in Oklahoma and visited Credo House with my father. I was the nerdy looking guy with the sport coat and glasses who graduated from Gordon-Conwell. Thanks for your post. I was pleased to find a link on The Gospel Coalition site.

      Now, I think you raise some great thoughts on an increasing problem of our day. At least in America which is increasingly becoming more progressive and secular as a society in the Western world, it would seem that there is a bit of confusion in the church about the issue of Christ & Culture which all of these issues you’ve raised seem to fall under. Where is too far in seeking to reach a secular culture? Also, what are the essentials you speak of and who decides they are essential? Perhaps part of the problem is not new, but arises in Protestant Christianity from the Reformation not holding (or knowing) to centralized authority anymore in regards to interpretation, hence,…

    • Boz

      a christian church is a business. It must turn a profit to survive. Acceptance of differing beliefs = more members = more profit.

    • nimrod4jesus

      The “veracity” of the idea that the descriptive word Christian actually means something seems to be new to some who accept the label. Isn’t a Christian a follower of Christ & isn’t Christ God & isn’t Scripture His word & aren’t His words true & isn’t there only one “correct” interpretation of each of His teachings. Its not like Credo House coffee and the flavor of the day, or whether Oklahoma is in the South or the West is it? Maybe we should take a vote on what God “really” means when He speaks! I’m sure He’d like that! Surely a majority of “Christians” would be able to straighten out these things. Then everyone could go to heaven & people could believe whatever makes them feel good.Its all about perspective…like when someone mentions UT & Orange, they’re talkin bout the one in Knoxville, right?
      GOOD POST! I’m glad you’re not as wishy-washy as most people in the “west”!

    • […] I Am Tired of All the Options: In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty . . . right? Let me try to briefly state the issue that I have, today, at 5:24pm CST. I am getting the feeling that Christian apologists and theologians, in order to make our faith more palatable to the outside world, are attempting to move all difficulties of our faith into the “non-essential” category in order to create “opt outs.” This is where just about everything outside of the person and work of Christ becomes negotiable. When does the form of Christianity we offer become something different than the historic Christian faith? […]

    • david carlson

      Lucien beat me to it. Let’s go back to Rome! Ya, that’s the solution!

      mmm, no

    • nimrod4jesus

      How in the world is everyone going to go to heaven if we make them believe all of that stuff? I mean really, create something from nothing, in six days? A soveriegn, holy God who says homosexuality is wrong? A being that can see into the future? Give me a break! Next thing you know, you’ll be saying people can rise from the dead! For people to believe that kind of stuff would take a miracle!!!

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