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In All Things Love

Although the college does not have creeds or written doctrines on individual special topics of interest, some sense of the kind of views likely to be encountered may be deduced from professor publications.

The following is an excerpt from professor Gareth Reese’s New Testament Epistles.

A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (1987), p. 695-696

Just a word on this closing phrase of the slogan whose real meaning and intent we are trying to discern. We have carefully tried to discriminate and clarify in our minds what the Bible calls “faith” and what it would include under the category “opinion.”

What this third summary statement calls for is for each Christian to act in a loving fashion, whether it be in his dealings with others in matters of “the faith,” or whether it be in areas of “opinion.” Love, as was learned at Romans 12:9, is doing what is spiritually best for the other person. Here, then, are some suggestions as to how love would act. If that other person is an unbeliever, love would make every effort to get the Gospel to him. If that other person is a believer who may be mistaken in one or more of the Gospel themes (such as the Corinthians were about the final resurrection of the body, chapter 15), love would seek to correct their mistaken beliefs. It is not a violation of Jesus’ prohibition of judging to call men’s attention to the facts, commands, and promises of the Gospel, and expect them to “see the Bible alike” on these matters. If the other person is a believer who has not yet learned some of the implications for his own life of the Gospel facts, commands, or promises, love would (in a kindly and gracious manner) try to help the brother to appreciate those truths inherent in the glorious Gospel. Differences of interpretation there may be regarding some of the “apostles’ teaching,” and these differences may at times place a strain upon fellowship, but it is a tragic error to suppose that unanimity of personal beliefs is the basis of continuing participation together in the cause of Christ. If, in an area of Scriptural silence on some topic, should the other person hold an opinion that differs from mine, he should be allowed to hold it. To His own Lord he stands or falls. If his convictions are so weak, that in some matters his conscience would be offended if he were to act, love helps the weak brother bear his weaknesses. Differences in judgment as to methods may at times be so sharp and incompatible that it is better for brethren to separate geographically for a time in order to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. That is what Paul and Barnabas did over the question of taking John Mark on the second missionary tour (Acts 15:36-41). They still treated each other as fellow workers in the same Gospel cause (I Corinthians 9:6), and spoke highly of one another as servants of Christ (2 Timothy 4: 11).

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