Dave, at Cartoon Church, has been doing a great job of documenting the unfortunate barney going on between Spring Harvest and ‘Word Alive’. It sort of revolves around different understandings of Christ’s penal substitution for us on the cross, drawing in references (not all of them positive) to Steve Chalke, Pete Broadbent (for Spring Harvest), UCCF, Jeffrey John and Bishop Tom Wright. The real issue is the underlying tension between evangelicals about how we interpret scripture and what constitutes ‘orthodox Christianity’, but there are probably a number of other issues to do with church, leadership and biblical interpretation that underpin the rift.
It’s good when we debate and I appreciate the biblical contributions of both sides in this sorry episode, but it’s totally unhelpful when people disagree so vehemently. We’re all reading the same bible and trying to apply it to our lives and the world we live in. Salvation and truth belong to God and I am glad that the truth holds me more than I hold the truth. There’s more I could say, but I’m not sure it would come out quite right, and anyway, I need to get on with sending out our monthly prayer letter.
A good starting point for following the debate is this post by Dave More on the Spring Harvest/Word Alive kerfuffle. And whatever you think, pray blessing on both parties. This isn’t about enemies, just differences.