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.