Posted by: Bob Clark | October 12, 2010

Peterson on Sectarianism

I have been re-reading Eugene Peterson’s Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. For some reason these words on sectarianism seemed very significant to me this morning. I want to share a paragraph from page 240.

Sectarianism is to the community what heresy is to theology, a willful removal of a part from the whole. The part is, of course, good–a work of God. But apart from the whole it is out of context and therefore diminished, disengaged from what it needs from the whole and from what what’s left of the whole needs from it. We wouldn’t tolerate someone marketing a Bible with some famous preacher’s five favorite books selected from the complete sixty-six and bound in fine leather. We wouldn’t put up with an art dealer cutting up a large Rembrandt canvas into two-inch squares and selling them off nicely framed. So why do we so often positively delight and celebrate the dividing up of the Jesus community into contentious and competitive groups? And why does Paul’s rhetorical question, “Has Christ been divided?” (1 Cor. 1:13), continue to be ignored century after century after century?

I never grow tired of reading Peterson.

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