Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
It is one thing to acknowledge the importance of distinguishing between doctrinal essentials and doctrinal non-essentials. Most affirm this. It is another thing to have the discernment and a grid by which this is done. Many don’t understand this.
There are a number of those who have recommended ways this can be done, and though there are some different nuances, most affirm similar principles. Some of those general, introductory principles are the following:
In addition to these general principles, there are also some guidelines that are more pointed that address the various ways the doctrine is considered essential, how we respond to those believing or espousing the doctrine, and how we process the distinctions between individuals and the church and then, finally, how we evaluate these matters. We will consider those tomorrow.