There is much to be applauded in the recent developments to encourage greater cooperation amongst Bible-believing, gospel-preaching churches, such as the development of regional gospel partnerships here in the UK (our local: MGP). Developments in the US, such as The Gospel Coalition and T4G, only serve to stimulate this movement further. A catholic spirit is vital in these days.
That said, there are are those with whom we feel a greater than average sense of oneness. My church is a confessional presbyterian church. We believe that that combination offers a much fuller expression of the gospel to the world than anything else (and if you are surprised by that, you need to listen to the lecture I mentioned a few days ago that David Roberson gave at Twin Lakes – link here.) Naturally, we feel affinity with other presbyterian churches in a way that we simply can’t with other beloved churches.
Yesterday was a long day, but it was a privilege for four of us EPCEW guys to meet with four men from the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland and talk about working together with a view to unity. It was a good meeting – plenty of will to move forward, and a little brotherly argy-bargy – culminating in a plan for the way forward which we will take to our presbytery next week.
One really interesting point: we see a real need to keep our eye on other developments elswhere in Europe. For one thing, the Scottish scene may change in the months to come after recent Church of Scotland Assembly decisions. For another, we recently welcomed a small but growing church in Sweden into our presbytery, and we know there are others in Europe interested in this kind of relationship. Watch this space.
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!