Friday, October 22, 2010

A Great Conversation

Yesterday I met three friends for lunch. The food was pretty good. Since I got a salad (trying to "be healthy"), it by default wasn't anything spectacular.

Despite the mediocrity of the food (next time I'm getting a burger), the conversation was great. These three friends of mine serve as full-time pastors at Ferguson Avenue Baptist Church here in Savannah. I must admit that it is refreshing that we all agree on issues related to salvation; we are all Reformed.

However, we disagree on many things related to the church and the role of the pastor/elder/overseer. For about two hours yesterday we discussed these things. It was not an argument. Rather, it was a healthy dialog about what the church should be. I was reminded that although we disagree on substantive issues, we actually agree on more than we don't. I really appreciated that one of the men said, "You can speak openly here." He said it with a smile on his face as if to tell me not to worry. They weren't prepared with some sort of attack.

I believe I brought up some things that will make them think. They brought up some things that I am pondering today (such as the impact of the synagogue on early Christian gatherings). It is good to be challenged in a gracious manner. They did this for me.

I wish I could say that all my interactions - whether by e-mail, phone, or letter - have been of this kind. They have not.

Back to yesterday. It was terrific. I'm so glad for men of this kind who are willing to just sit down and have a solid and fun conversation about important things. What a relief it was to know that no one was going to get angry and stomp out of the room! As followers of Christ, we should all be able to converse about important things without losing our tempers. That's what the world does. We ought to be different.

I'm thankful to the Lord for yesterday. It was a wonderful reminder of the unity of the church even when we disagree on some things. I hope to have many more conversations of this sort.


Alan Knox said...


Your lunch sounds like alot of fun!

The synagogue-church relationship is an interesting one. There is both correlation and contrast in the relationship. I've done some research in that area for my dissertation. It is very interesting that some of the aspects of the synagogue (leadership especially) are mentioned by the NT writers when talking about the synagogue, but never when talking about the church.


Eric said...


That's interesting.

I've also noticed that some people (not these friends) assume that certain things that happened in synagogues also happened in the early church. That assumption is usually used to defend church practices that they enjoy but that cannot be supported biblically.

The conversation was great. I'm glad to see that I'm going to be able to stay in fellowship them. Knowing these guys, I'm not surprised.

Aussie John said...


It thrills me to see such evidence of maturity, and Christ-like attitude, amongst those who would disagree with you. Such are like the proverbial "hen's teeth" here, rather scarce.

I am blessed to have one such brother who visits regularly, and is spending the day with us tomorrow. I will share your encouraging words with him.

Eric said...


These men really are excellent friends. They are so gracious. They asked questions and really listened to what I had to say. I hope I listened as well. It was very encouraging. I'm glad you have someone like this you can talk to.

Jeffrey said...

Next time go to five guys and have a nice greasy burger. Things will go even better.