Sola Fide: Sowing Seeds of Unity in Newberg

My salvation has been questioned more times than I’d like to relate. The last time, the knee-jerk reaction had to do with my apathy toward a particular theory of atonement. For that, my conversation partner resigned me to some corner of hell. I’ve always been perplexed by how some of my more minute theological convictions arouse such defensive divisiveness. I grew up in rural, Evangelical Protestant Indiana. I can’t recall any Latin phrases weaseling their way into Sunday school, but my teachers always taught that faith in Jesus was the singular requirement for salvation. Without the Latin, my teachers were pretty good at inculcating me with the Protestant maxim, Sola Fide (faith alone). You can understand my befuddlement then, how can my lack of a stance on a particular theory of atonement undo my faith-based devotion to Jesus? I don’t think I’m alone. Our Christian context is fraught with others who have found themselves at the harsh end of a group’s or person’s anathematizing crusade. These happenings often leave me asking, how is it that so many communities use something unrelated to faith in Jesus as a ground for disqualification? This is especially unfortunate given Jesus’s own powerful plea for the Church’s oneness (Jn. 17:20-23). The disparity between the divisive actions of the church and the doctrinal foundation of my Protestant forbearers has propelled me on a personal pursuit...

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