Monday, February 16, 2009

My Lunch with Kent

Kent Sparks and I met for lunch today. Since our relationship has played out a little bit on this blog I thought I would follow up. I had a great time with him. If you don't know Kent, he is a terrific guy. We talked about family, COS, life, theology, epistomology, and biblical studies - you know, typical lunch conversation.

I loved hearing about Kent's own spiritual journey. It is interesting that as we each struggled with some of the same questions in our days as students we ended up coming to different conclusions about the nature of Scripture. We definitely disagree on some issues and those issues are not unimportant. That said, I rejoice in the fact that Kent is my brother in Christ. While the issues on which we disagree will probably mean that we cannot serve together regularly in the same church I nevertheless hold him in high esteem as one who loves the Lord Jesus.

If anyone would like to ultimately pit Kent and I against one another then you will probably get frustrated. While I disagree with some of his views I only have good things to say about the man. One of the things we in the body of Christ must do better (certainly I do) is how to disagree as brothers and sisters. Don't misunderstand, we must not ignore issues that are truly important. In some cases those disagreements are worthy of vigorous debate (not for the sake of debating but for the purpose of arriving at the truth). While Kent and I differ on some things that are very important to us, on the most essential issues we are, I believe, agreed.

Kent Sparks is a good man and I look forward to fellowshipping with him in the future.

* Let me add a thought. It might be better to say that Kent and I would struggle organizing a church together. I can imagine a number of ways in which we could serve and worship together. We probably would not be able to write a detailed statement on Scripture together but I could certainly stand by his side and worship with him.


toothdoc said...

Do they have an Il Vicino?

Mike said...


Liked this statement "One of the things we in the body of Christ must do better is how to disagree as brothers and sisters...(but)we must not ignore issues that are truly important."

I have found this really challenging and one that I don't do a very good job at. What do you think this looks like? You have to take me at my word for this because I am not trying to push buttons here...but does this look like a "generous orthodoxy?"

Kent Sparks said...


Todd Pruitt said...


Well, I would probably define "generous orthodoxy" quite differently from Mr. MacLaren. If generous orthodoxy means taking doctrine seriously but being kind to those with whom you disagree then I want to be able to do that well.

No Il Vicino here. But there's a good restaurant or five on every corner. It's madness!

Mainline Mom said...

Todd, I am SO glad you got to chat with Kent. Isn't he great? I am only sad that I did not get to know he and his family better in the short time our paths crossed in the Young Families class.

I have had to do a lot of learning to agree to disagree over spiritual matters with friends. Two of my closest friends are female ministers, a position I disagree with, but I love them dearly. My uncle is a Bible scholar and a strict creationist, something I also disagree with. But I think he still loves me :) I could go on and on.

Glad you're enjoying the great food in suburban Philly too :)