“One danger to our unity and our coalitions may be the tendency to think in pragmatic rather than principled terms about our cooperation. I need to be principled.”

I wrote that a little while back, reflecting on a number of important developments in the Evangelical world at the time.  I’ve noodled on that thought off and on over the months.  I’m still baking some thoughts, but here’s what’s rising thus far.  This is not a well-rounded doctrine of cooperation/separation.  I’m simply saying, “These are the kinds of people I want to cooperate with.”  Much more could be said in a fully developed biblical position on cooperation.  But for now, here are my five principles for cooperation:

The Absolute Centrality, Necessity, and Supremacy of Jesus Christ and Him Crucified, Buried, Resurrected, Reigning and Coming for His Eternally Elected, Saved, Sanctified, and Glorified People.

We’re simply speaking of the Gospel here.  It’s absolute because there is zero cooperation with those who intentionally deny, distort, or denigrate this message.  Central because nothing else has sufficient convening power to hold us together.  Necessary because without it we are not a people and haven’t the resources for maintaining any unity.  Supreme because all of life must be lived under this over-arching narrative, beneath the sovereign hand of this Lord, and with the hope of being His forever.  In this short life I have–already shortened by more than four decades of living–I want to invest with people and groups who hold the message of our Savior more dear than life itself.

Apart from Jesus Christ offered in the gospel all of life disintegrates.  Apart from Jesus Christ offered in the gospel all cooperation and coalition-building and network-making likewise disintegrates into lesser interests, petty politics, power plays, and personality cult.  These are clear and present dangers against which the people of God must have principled opposition.  But not just principled opposition; we must also have principled advocacy for something positive, greater, better.  Men may be against things and never together for things.  The easiest thing in the world to do is simply oppose something.  All opposition requires is negation.  But to be for something requires risk, disclosure, sacrifice, integrity, and perseverance.  What better or greater thing to be for than the Good News of our Sovereign, Saving, Satisfying Lord Jesus?  I want to cooperate with men who feel that way.

An Unshakable, Unwavering, Unflinching, Relentless Dependence Upon the Fully Inspired, Inerrant, Authoritative, Necessary, and Sufficient word of God.

I don’t need the Bible to appear “credible” or “reliable” to a scoffing academy or a sin-deranged culture.  Not in the first instance.  We can get to defending the Bible against “the cultured despisers.”  No, in the first instance, I need the people I’m locking arms with to have an unshakable, unwavering, unflinching, relentless dependence upon and faith in the word of God.  What other ground can we build on?  What other basis of authority and unity is sufficient?  Not tradition for there are multiple traditions even within our own denominations and ecclesial bodies.  Not policy or politics.  Not preference or platform.

We need something beyond us, something over us, something more permanent and enduring than ourselves.  We need a divine word from the only God–a word “forever… firmly fixed in heaven” (Ps. 119:89).  That’s found only in one place–the holy Scriptures of both the Old and New Testament.  As Jesus put it, “Not one jot or tittle shall pass away” until He fulfills it–down to the jot and tittle.  I want to cooperate with men who don’t blink when they hear the Savior put such trust in God’s word, because taking their cue from the Savior they too put their trust in the Bible.

The Utter Urgency, Beauty, and Priority of Thinking, Feeling, and Living as One New Humanity or Spiritual Ethnicity in Christ.

To put it plainly, I want to labor, strive, build, risk, sacrifice, rejoice, mourn, and serve with those Christians who put our identity in Christ before any lesser identity.  All other identities–which we surely, necessarily, and joyfully embrace–are still lesser identities when compared with that new personhood we receive from and in the Savior.  Doctor?  Lesser.  Preacher?  Lesser.  Rich or poor?  Lesser.  Immigrant or national?  Lesser.  This natural ethnic group or that?  Important.  Intentional.  Beautiful.  Lesser.

I want to live and labor with those who know, count, and embrace the cost of living out this radical new existence, where “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).  But I want to also labor with those who feel, embrace and rejoice in the beauty and intentionality of the vision in Rev. 5:9-10–“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.  You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”  Neither Jew nor Greek… one in Christ Jesus… and yet every tribe and language and people and nation in praise to God… a kingdom of priests serving God.  Forgetting ourselves while being ourselves while consumed with Jesus.  ”For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in His flesh the law with its commandments and the regulations.  His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death the hostility” (Eph. 2:14-16).  Oh to live and work with saints who know that Jesus has “put to death the hostility”–that is, the hatin’, the cliques, the prejudice, the bigotry, the pride, the racism, the ethnocentrism, the racial supremacy, the cultural imperialism, the chauvinism, the snobbery, the indifference, the know-nothingness, the blinders, the victimology, the guilt trippin’, the resentment, the disenfranchisement, the oppression, the power playing, the privilege-protecting, the race-carding, the white flight, the angry Black, the gentrification, the red-lining, the segregation, the ghetto-ization, the marginalization, the balkanization, and so on!

I want to cooperate with men and women who take seriously the burden-sharing, burden-carrying call of Galatians 6:1-2.  I especially want to cooperate with men and women who do that on the issue of our new identity in Christ because the reality is there’s a cost to African Americans who feel like they’re giving up who they are without reciprocity and acceptance in order to be who Christ calls us to be.  Simultaneously, the reality is there’s a cost to White Americans who feel like they’re risking blame, castigation, rejection, and privilege without the chance of acceptance in order to be who Christ calls them to be.  I want to be with White brethren who carry my burden with me.  And I want to carry the burdens of my White, Hispanic, Asian, African, Caribbean, Indian, and European brethren who shoulder their own burdens in all of this.  And I don’t want to hang with anyone–Black, White, or other–who pretend that either there are no costs or that they’re the only ones paying it.  I want to cooperate with those who believe we either hang together or we shall surely hang together.

Here are some of the ways I look for “put to death the hostility” realism in such cooperation.  First, there’s the verbal espousing of this ethic.  Doesn’t have to be all the time, but constant enough to know folks are thinking about it.  Isn’t enough in itself, but it’s at least necessary to know it’s on the agenda.  Second, there’s the willingness of others to take up “my” issue as “our” issue–to bear the burden.  That means the Black, Asian, or Hispanic guy isn’t reflexively asked to lead on “their” issue.  Other folks have a willingness to get into my world or another’s world.  But it also means that I don’t sit back and say, “That’s a white thang; it doesn’t matter where I live.”  The issue may not matter in the Caribbean or in Southeast DC, but it matters to the body of Christ, my new spiritual ethnicity.  So it must matter to me.  Third, I’m looking for sensitivity and action even when I’m not in the room or involved.  Does the reality of our new spiritual ethnicity reach living rooms and dinner tables when it’s just you and your peeps.  Fourth, I’m looking for some measure of “self policing,” some “get ya boy” responses to others belonging to one’s own natural ethnic group on behalf of this greater principle of new humanity in Christ.  I don’t want to call everything I see “racist.”  Let some African Americans call other African Americans “racist” when they see it.  Let White brothers do the same with White brothers, Asian American with Asian American, Hispanic American with Hispanic American, and so on.  Fifth, I want to know if we’ve all relinquished our passive approach to friendships to actively cultivate–not inter-racial or multi-racial or diverse friendships–but gospel friendships with the entire body of Christ.  Inter-racial, multi-ethnic, and diverse relationships are not the end but one of the necessary by-products of taking seriously our common identity in Christ and the death of trans-ethnic hostility.  I’m not looking for folks who have to say, “Some of my best friends are _____.”  I’m looking for folks who can say with deep affection, “This is my brother/sister” and not be strained or surprised to learn that said brother/sister represents the diversity that’s around the throne of glory.

In none of these am I looking for perfection but for an earnest attempt to embrace Eph. 2 and live it out by God’s grace, however imperfectly.

As far as I’m concerned, anything less than this is either worldliness (regarding each other according to the flesh) or punkin’ out (refusing to even belly up to the table).  It’s certainly living well beneath our inheritance in Christ Jesus who gave himself to make us one in himself.

The Foundational, Binding, Sacrificial, and Distinctive Mark of Love Requires I Give Myself to Loving Others and Allow Myself to Be Loved by Others

“If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.  And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:3, 13).  ”And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Col. 3:14).  ”A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).  ”Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph. 5:1-2).

True confession: I don’t love as I ought.  Plain and simple.  But also inexcusable.  The way the Master has loved me demands that I love my brothers (1 Jn 3:16; 4:11-12).  So, I need to be in fellowship and cooperation with brethren who “stir me up to love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24).  This is not just a theological principle; it’s a deep need I have.  And it’s a great motivation for cooperating.  I want to be in those associations that help perfect me in love.  And further to the principle above, I can’t learn to love when hangin’ with people who all look and act like me or when hangin’ with people who don’t inconvenience me with their faults, foibles, problems, and sins.  To only be with people like me and who never inconvenience me is simply self-love spread over a wider area.  But His love crosses boundaries and gathers up into itself inconvenient ‘aliens’.  I want to love like that.  I want to be with people loving and learning to love like Jesus.

The Undeniable Importance, Integrity, and Consistency of Both Practice and Method with 1-4 above.

I still believe the medium/method is the message in many respects.  I believe our method says more than merely “This is how we do it.”  It can also say, “This is why we do it” and “This is what we think is important” and “This is what we trust.”  Not all methods are created equal.  So, our practice and our method needs to be principled as well.  Otherwise, we’re just talking about pragmatism.  Doesn’t matter how many fancy words we use to describe it, how many books we footnote to substantiate it, or how many appeals to this or that goal we make to justify it.  It’s pragmatism, and the one question pragmatic philosophy cannot answer is, “Ought we to do it?”  The “ought” answer comes from the gospel, the scripture, love, and the ethics of our new identity in Christ.

Surely godly Christians can differ on a variety of methodological issues and practices that are indifferent.  But we cannot pretend all methods and issues are inconsequential.  We must define practice and method boundaries for our cooperation lest we by our cooperation uncritically endorse things that undermine our message and our cooperation.  I want to cooperate with men who rank method last in importance compared to the great truths of the faith.  But I want to cooperate with men who do rank method and practice as important, even as we admit a charitable range of freedom without compromising critical convictions.


I suspect others have other principles.  Cool.  This simply reflects the developing principles of one man–me.  Perhaps one or two of these things put me on an island by myself.  That’s fine; I’ve grown accustomed to living on an island these last six years.

I fully recognize that in the interest of positive influence with others, one might from time to time speak at an event with others who don’t share all the convictions above.  But I also suspect it’s wise not to make those one-off events a lasting cooperation.  Seems to me we ought to be wary of either appearing to endorse things contrary to principle and be wary of how those things affect us in unexpected ways.

My wife prays that I might have “a bridge-building heart.”  Man, I love that woman!  And I love her prayers for me.  She sees the difference between my “want to” and my “won’t do.”  And she knows that closing the gap between the two is a matter of the Lord refining my heart.  Because the truth is, I can use these principles to shut down and run away from imperfect cooperation, inconvenient association, and just plain roll-up-your-sleeve-and-love-hard opportunity.  Isn’t it easy to make “my issue” the cost of admission for Christian love and fellowship?  So, I’m hoping these principles are appropriate fences but also strong motivation to seek out as well.

There’s so much more that could and should be said.  This, again, is simply where one man lands.  What about you?

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11 thoughts on “Principled Cooperation”

  1. Ted Bigelow says:

    Hi Thabiti,

    It’s wonderfully obvious from your writing this is a deeply-thought through matter for you. Deeply emotional, too. May the Lord give you grace as you navigate your associations, and wisdom for the investments you hope to make with your life.

    Here’s a thought or two from a fellow-pilgrim.

    First, the church is, well, first. Coalitions are fluid and funny things that Jesus never owns. But the church…, “I will build my church.” With that in mind I find it helpful to distance passages like Gal. 6:1-2 from Gal. 3:28. Gal. 6:2 tells me to “bear one another’s burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” That’s local church – “one another.” I can’t fulfill the law of Christ among the whole body scattered throughout the world (male, female, slave, free, etc), or even in a coalition of people who aren’t in my week-in/week-out local church. Fulfilling the law of Christ is so much more than hanging out on an occassional basis!

    Second, invest those energies and passions back into the people of your church. They need them more than the others out there in the body of Christ! Unless you believe you’re an apostle ;). Be so passionate for them in their flesh and blood inadequacies. These are the ones whom God wants you to love – practically speaking – not coalition members whose flaws we don’t have to live, nor do we know them.

    Those flaws are for the members of their own church bodies to bear.

    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

      Hi Ted,

      Thanks for the comments, bro. I could not agree more about the necessity, centrality, priority, and messy beauty of the local church. I started to add a paragraph under that heading but figured most folks would assume that about me. I do spend the vast majority of my energies in this local church to which I’m called. That’s my primary ministerial calling. So, you won’t find any disagreement here about a high view of the church being a non-negotiable in cooperation.

      But having said that, and without equivocating one bit on the priority of the local church, we do need to reflect a Christian unity larger than our local churches. This is one potential value of coalitions and denominations. But that broader unity needs to be principled, imo, hence the musings in this post.

      Grateful for the exchange, bro.


      1. Ted Bigelow says:

        Hi Thabiti –

        As always, thanks for your gracious response. Indeed, there is no one more gracious on the internet than you. Is it the Cayman water?

        I was sort of hoping you would answer the way you did because your point “we do need to reflect a Christian unity larger than our local churches. [t]his is one potential value of coalitions and denominations” leads me to want to look to Scripture to support that need, but I find myself stymied.

        The NT knows nothing of denominations (if I’m wrong, please teach me) or coalitions (same thing, teach me). So where do i go in Scripture to justify my responsibility to “reflect a larger Christian unity”? John 17:21-23? If so, that’s an already accomplished spiritual unity that is as unified as Christ is with the Father.

        If there is no Scriptural justification for refelcting that broader unity, then shouldn’t we probably relate to coalitions and denominations as adiaphora at best?

        1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

          Hi brother,

          So, let me make sure I’m following you: You wanted me to give that answer so we could argue about denominations and coalitions? :-) Then you use a fancy word (“adiaphora”) to leave me stymied in return ;-).

          Okay, I’ll bite. Surely John 17 along with other passages indicate a spiritual unity among all believers. There’s one body of Christ, not many. But the very fact that those are indicatives–accomplished realities–must grant positive force to living out those realities. What accomplishment wrought by Christ should we leave un-experienced or un-pursued? Why has Christ achieved those things if it is not for us by measure and in degree to walk in them? When you stipulate spiritual unity in John 17, it seems to me the de facto result must be the pursuit of that unity in our physical lives–however imperfectly. Isn’t this part of the already/not yet tension in which we live and strive? Admitting universal unity in John 17 should entail admitting the need for unity across local churches.

          Or, we might back into the argument for coalitions or denominations this way:
          a. The NT seems to argue for catholicity, a universal church that recognizes each local church as belonging to the one body of Christ.

          b. In principle, then, there is one NT coalition or denomination.

          c. In application, then, there should be mutual recognition among all true local churches today.

          d. Denominations and coalitions represent imperfect ways of reflecting the unity we see in the NT.

          Now, the important thing about “d” is that it turns typical negative views of denominations on their head. Most people think denominations represent disunity. However, a strong case can be made for denominations as agents of defining and maintaining unity. They’re aggregates of local congregations affirming a common understanding of the faith. Coalitions go one step further, assembling representatives beyond denominational bounds (that’s both the blessing and the curse of coalitions and why they must be principled). So, what you’re objecting to in coalitions and denominations can be steps toward what I assume you would hold dear from the NT–universality. The church world today is no doubt far larger than the church of the apostolic world. Perhaps we have more fractures, too. So, approximating NT unity cannot be achieved simply by retreating to our local churches alone. Denominations and coalitions may be matters indifferent in one sense, but we needn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater of our sinful imperfections. Do we have a better way of reflecting NT unity? If so, I’m all for hearing about it and joining it.

          But I suspect you’re after something more imperatival in force. Does the NT instruct or at least model something akin to a denomination or coalition? I think so. I’d point to the following:
          1. The cyclical nature of so many NT epistles at least suggests unity beyond the local church.

          2. Paul’s periodic reference to teaching certain things “in all the churches” (1 Cor. 7:17; 11:16; 14:33) suggests a unity among the churches in doctrine and practice.

          3. The example of churches gathering support for the churches in Jerusalem clearly represents cooperation.

          4. Paul and companions “strengthening the churches” (Acts 15:41; 16:5) represents a concern for the Church beyond the local church and a level of cooperation, especially as churches like those in Macedonia gave to support that very ministry to other churches.

          5. While I think the Jerusalem council in Acts 15 was a unique salvation-historical event for the purposes of defining and protecting the gospel, we need to at least acknowledge that a good number of connectional denominations see in it a precedent for denominational cooperation.

          So, I would argue that while the majority of the NT action focuses on local churches or happens in local churches–the Christian life being inescapably local–we do see a constant pattern of cooperation between and beyond the local church. That cooperation and fellowship is important for reflecting the reality of our spiritual union in Christ. One doesn’t need an apostolic call to show that concern in tangible ways, witness the way the average members of one church gave to support the pressing needs of other churches.

          So, that makes this a bit more than “matters indifferent” in my mind. The particular form could be indifferent, but that cooperation and unity be sought can’t. The other thing we’d have to say is that there is no specific injunction against denominations/coalitions as strategies for pursuing increased unity and cooperation. With the emphasis on love and unity, we should at least be tipping toward unity beyond the local church even as we spend the bulk of our energies in the local church.


          1. Ted Bigelow says:

            Thabiti – thanks for your lengthy response. I’ve perhaps taken you away from more important things. If so, I apologize. I only hoped my response would be, you know, adiaphora….. ;). You should regard me with far, far more indifference than you have shown here ;).

            No!, I wasn’t looking to argue about denominations and coalitions!, and I thought you, being a good Baptist, would see independency as I do: voluntary. When it comes to coalitions we aren’t talking about a church being a part of a larger coalition, but individuals. For that reason the NT letters, written to churches (mostly) cannot help us advance an argument for voluntary coalitions built of individuals. We can make a case for it by syllogisms, but not exegesis.

            All I really wanted was to encourage you to think of Galatians 6:1-2, which was the burden of your post (pardon the obvious pun) in light of its context – “one another” and “fulfilling the law of Christ.” I wanted to reach out and say, “hey brother, you can’t fulfill the law of Christ in the broader body of Christ, so give your heart a rest from trying.” Evidently I widely missed my mark. Ah well, Eccl. 1:1. Like you, I am thrilled by any and every true believer I am privileged to meet. I am inwardly impelled to love them, and I believe that lines up with John 13:34-35, the evidence of the Lord’s gracious work in my heart. As an individual I yearn to love all individuals regardless of differences.

            And I do think that the argument you present gives most of the strongest points for denominations and such, and I thank you both for your clear thinking and force of expression. It serves me (and others I hope) to read such reasoning. My challenge back to you is, “where does it stop” if not in Catholicism?

            Couple quick things: Your point 3 assumes various churches met in the Jerusalem conference. Various men did meet who were apostles and elders, and some brothers came down from Antioch beside Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15:2), but they had no role whatsoever in the outcome. “The church” in Acts 15:22 is “the church” in Acts 15:4 – the church in Jerusalem. Acts 15:23 and Acts 16:4 should seal this for you.

            TA: “Do we have a better way of reflecting NT unity? If so, I’m all for hearing about it and joining it.”

            I look at Titus 1:5 as an apostolic mandate for NT unity. The churches on Crete were led by “many rebellious men” (Titus 1:10). Paul’s decree of “elders in every town” required a reformation of every existing church on Crete by Titus in order to bring about unity. According to Titus 1:5, every town already had at least one church – I suspect many towns already had multiple churches based on the evidence in the letter.

            If I am correct, NT unity doesn’t come at the expense of church distinctives but rather by bringing church distinctives under the simple demands of Scripture, specifically in the area of polity. Without the will to do this we find ourselves yearning for some visible unity apart from the local church, in large part because we aren’t willing to go where Titus was forced to. I suspect it’s either too threatening to our fragile unity, or we simply haven’t seen it lived out.

            1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

              Hey bro,

              Thanks for the engagement and comments. Much to ponder. Two quick thoughts:

              1. Envisioning wider cooperation and unity does not end in Rome. For all her boasts about unity and continuity, etc., there’s far more diversity, change, contradiction, and disagreement in Roman Catholicism than often admitted. And what’s the point in heading to Rome and leaving the gospel behind? On that I’m sure we agree.

              2. I’m not sure what you mean by “NT unity doesn’t come at the expense of church distinctives but rather by bringing church distinctives under the simple demands of Scripture, specifically in the area of polity.” I’m puzzled because I can’t think of any “church distinctives” in the NT. It seems to me that the apostles’ teaching set the distinctives, and as you say, churches are called to submit to that scripture. Are you imagining some local distinctives (aside from indifferent matters like head coverings) that would be accepted as a local distinctive?

              Thanks for the iron sharpening. I’ll leave you the last word whenever it’s convenient. Grace and peace,

  2. Inchristus says:

    This is excellent but would like that it were consistent and went further. I only wish and see no reason why we cannot break down the barriers between male and female in the home, the Church, and the world. But of course, it’s the Gospel Coalition and we’ll have none of that, I suppose.

    With sadness.

    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:


      Thanks for stopping by and sharing both thoughts and sorrow.

      In brief, my response would be that we should define “consistent” as “consistent with scripture“. Let us not go beyond what is written. Just as the Bible does not abolish ethnicity, I don’t understand the Bible to abolish gender roles in the home and the church. In fact, quite the opposite (1 Tim. 2-3, etc.). So, our unity in Christ supersedes our natural ethnicities as I’ve argued in the post, yet every ethne surrounds the throne of the Lamb in glory. Likewise, our unity in Christ is greater than the two genders, yet there are gender roles to be maintained in the home and the church. Distinction does not imply inequality and equality does not eliminate all distinctions. Perhaps the sadness comes from perceiving distinction as inequality. If that premise is false, there’s a way to be free from sadness and consistent with God’s word.

      Seeing dimly,

  3. Ted Bigelow says:

    Hi Thabiti, last words here ;)

    My comments on coalitions and denominations ending in Catholicism were in response to an earlier syllogism you made:

    “a. The NT seems to argue for catholicity, a universal church that recognizes each local church as belonging to the one body of Christ.

    b. In principle, then, there is one NT coalition or denomination.

    c. In application, then, there should be mutual recognition among all true local churches today.

    d. Denominations and coalitions represent imperfect ways of reflecting the unity we see in the NT.”

    If D and A are true the answer is a visible universal church. I question A. Quick example: I don’t think Jesus looked at Laodicea as part of His body (Rev. 3:15). His words are all reproof and repentance.

    In order for our unity to be where it ought we need to elevate our expectations by considering 1 Cor. 1:10: “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

    This commands a real and visible unity that is more than any denomination or coalition asks for! Paul is merely the mouthpiece here: this is actually Christ Himself speaking, “by the name of our LJXt.” Can this unity be reflected visibly in a coalition or denomination? It is what Jesus Himself demands.

    Which brings me back to Titus 1:5 and your question on ‘church distinctives.” Perhaps I am misusing terms, but by “distinctives” here I mean practices of particular churches. Both Ephesus (1 Tim. 2:12) and Corinth (1 Cor. 14:34) had women teachers at one point until corrected by Paul. Their distinctivse, as seen in their practice, was in disobedience to apostolic teaching.

    So too with polity. Who knows what polity the churches on Crete had from the years from Pentecost (Acts 2:11) until reformation (64 AD?)? 2 things we do know. Before Titus came they didn’t have a plurality of qualified elders leading their churches, and when Titus was done reforming the churches in every town, they all did! This providing each church, and every church, with unity where it counts – in keeping with apostolic practice. And without such leaders, the church was impotent to obey 1 Cor. 1:10.

  4. Matt Jacobs says:

    Dear brother:

    Your third principle brought tears to my eyes. It also gave me an incredible encouragement to implement these principles in my own life. Thank you for sharing them.

    You’re a blessing, brother.

    Matt Jacobs

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Thabiti Anyabwile

Thabiti Anyabwile is a pastor for Anacostia River Church in southeast Washington, DC and a council member of The Gospel Coalition.

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