R0987-8 Professor Briggs’ Views On Church Union

::R0987 : page 8::



“Another great barrier to the reunion of Christendom is subscription to elaborate creeds. This is the great sin of the Lutheran and Reformed churches. Every one of these churches has separated subscribers from non-subscribers and occasioned the organization of dissenting churches. Lutherans, Calvinists and Arminians, and sections of the same, have been separated into different ecclesiastical organizations. These doctrinal divisions have done more than anything else to weaken Protestantism and stay its progress in Europe. … These differences cannot be solved by conquest, but only by some higher knowledge and better adjustment of the problems involved through an advance in theological conception and definition. The question now forces itself upon earnest men whether these differences justify ecclesiastical separation, and whether they may not be left to battle their own way to success or defeat without the help of ecclesiastical fences and traditional prejudices. …

Progress is possible only by research, discussion, conflict. The more conflict the better. Battle for the truth is infinitely better than stagnation in error. Every error should be slain as soon as possible. If it be our error we should be most anxious to get rid of it. Error is our greatest foe. Truth is the most precious possession. There can be no unity save in the truth, and no perfect unity save in the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Let us unite in the truth already gained, and agree to contend in Christian love and chivalry for the truth that has not yet been sufficiently determined, having faith that in due time the Divine Spirit will make all things clear to us.”


— October, 1887 —