Local Church Unity

By Lue-Yee Tsang

Even under Congregationalist church polity (a thing I see as fundamentally flawed), there was not in former times such splintering of the Church, and such hyperindividualist idolatry, as there is today. Now, especially without denominational ties, each congregation in a given area tends to itself without much heed for the others. As congregations tend also to be segregated along lines of cultural similarity – a largely Charismatic-pietistic Korean congregation versus a Presbyterian white congregation – this insulation extends the walls that divide the rest of society. Continue reading “Local Church Unity”

What Is a Statement of Doctrine?


I wrote an article for the Spring 2010 print issue explaining why To An Unknown God does not have a statement of doctrine. Darren Hsiung has challenged some of the arguments I made in that article, helping me clarify a few thoughts. The exchange also makes me believe it would be worthwhile to publish a post explaining my understanding of what a statement of doctrine is and what its proponents hope it will accomplish. (Again, within the context of explaining why To An Unknown God does not have a statement of doctrine.) Continue reading “What Is a Statement of Doctrine?”

Newman Membership in UiC


At the end of the last academic term, there was a vote in Unity in Christ (UiC), Cal’s interfellowship group, on whether to admit Newman Hall, the Roman Catholic community on campus, to membership. After some discussion, a two-thirds vote came out in favour of Newman joining UiC. While I approve of recognizing Rome as part of the Body of Christ, which the Apostles’ Creed calls the Holy Catholic Church – especially as I see the opposite as born largely of sectarian bigotry – I would like to express my reservations about what I consider to have been undue procedural haste. My interest in discussing this matter now, months after the vote, is to clarify the role of this journal in promoting careful, frank dialogue within the Church as Christians seek greater visible unity. Continue reading “Newman Membership in UiC”

Inclusive Confessional Documents


As I’ve always understood it, To An Unknown God is an œcumenical project, a project in which iron sharpens iron, a project that aims to find what’s true and noble in each Christian tradition and critique what’s fallacious and base. This means that, without sweeping real disagreement under the rug, we work together for one and the same city according to the standard of the God who reveals himself in Scripture and in nature.

Amid calls in some quarters for subscription to a statement of faith, a major reason we have no consensus document is that we hope out of creative tension to forge an eventual consensus faithful to the Truth that the Holy Ghost reveals in the Scriptures. Continue reading “Inclusive Confessional Documents”

Against Unchurchly InterPraise Revivalism


At this term’s InterPraise, on Wednesday night, I encountered practices that, while not at all unusual in the evangelical world, fall far short of what the Holy Writ delivers. I don’t mean to attack InterPraise or anyone who helped out, but I do insist on doing things in their proper places, by the means handed down from God. Continue reading “Against Unchurchly InterPraise Revivalism”

Exposing Corruption: Good for the Church?


Writing in the New York Times earlier this week, columnist Nicholas Kristof noted:

The Vatican believes that this newspaper and other news organizations have been unfair and overzealous in excavating the church’s cover-ups of child rape. I see the opposite. No organization has done more to elevate the moral stature of the Catholic Church in the United States than The Boston Globe. Its groundbreaking 2002 coverage of abuse by priests led to reforms and by most accounts a significant reduction in abuse. Catholic kids are safer today not because of the cardinals’ leadership, but because of The Boston Globe’s.

Continue reading “Exposing Corruption: Good for the Church?”