Regent professors Bruce Waltke and Gordon Fee. They were, together, a powerful
example of what it means to disagree with
mutual regard, respect and even affection.
Professor Waltke accepted the Re-
formed theological tradition, while
Gordon Fee was a Pentecostal. And they
co-taught a course entitled Biblical
Theology. They actually differed on quite
a list of matters. What we all knew, in-
cluding their students, was that they dif-
fered on the ordination of women. Bruce
was opposed. Gordon was in favour. And
yet, while Bruce insisted that the Bible
could hardly be clearer on the topic – in
his mind – he never questioned Gordon’s
affirmation of the authority and inspira-
tion of the Scriptures. And for Gordon,
his insistence was that ministry was de-
termined by the Spirit, not by gender.
But he would never have said that Bruce
had a deficient theology of the Spirit.
They always sustained a deep and pro-
found mutual respect and camaraderie,
differing with grace toward the other, a
tremendous example to their students.
And this brings me back to the words
of Romans 15: 7 – the call to accept one
another, in Christ, even as Christ has accepted us. Can we be generous toward
those with whom we differ, even as Christ
has been so generous with us? And in so
doing, as Paul puts it in this verse, bring
praise to God? When Paul links our mutual acceptance to the acceptance of
Christ, he indicates the gospel is at stake
– that we truly only live the gospel when
we learn how to disagree graciously, when
we learn how to get along. And when we
do, God is glorified and honoured. And
this, surely, matters to all of us. /FT
Gordon T. Smith is president and professor of
systematic and spiritual theology at Ambrose
University. He is author of the recently published
Called to Be Saints: An invitation to Christian
Maturity (IVP Academic, 2014).
When Paul links our mutual acceptance to
the acceptance of Christ, he indicates the
gospel is at stake – that we truly only live
the gospel when we learn how to disagree
graciously, when we learn how to get along.
READ MORE at MyRedeemer.ca/Business
Working at Crossroads Christian Communications and CTS
(Crossroads Television Station) has helped me apply the skills
and theories I learned in my classes at Redeemer. I now have
a clear picture of what working in a finance office is like. This
co-op work experience truly brought my learning to life!
Leyer, Co-op Accounting Student
Spruce Grove, Alberta
n Hamilton, Ontario