C. Michael Patton, writing at Parchment & Pen (highly recommended), takes on the idea of what is essential in Christianity and what is non-essential. Further, what is essential for salvation vs what is essential for historic Christianity or vs a particular denomination. It’s said to be "in a nutshell", and though it is still rather long, it’s probably condensing something even larger. But it is a fantastic starting point for understanding what’s worth dying for and what’s pure speculation. Different groups put different things in different levels, but Patton does a great job of being fair regarding where certain ideas generally fall. His point is not to argue for certain doctrines, only to give a good starting point for discussion. To this point, he says:

But (as the criticism goes) it is not that easy to distinguish between essentials and non-essentials. More importantly for now, many Evangelicals have simply never been exposed to this and therefore practice their theology in a much more legalistic way, believing every conviction that they have to be representative of a hill upon which they should die.

A good read, and a good bookmark to keep.

Filed under: ChristianityReligion

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