The blog of Dr Glenn Andrew Peoples on Theology, Philosophy, and Social Issues

A plea for a little more ecumenicalism


Two men met at a Christian conference. Man A eyed man B suspiciously before striking up a conversation. The following back and forth ensued:

Man A: What’s that Bible you have there?

Man B: Hello to you too. It’s an ESV.

Man A: Oh, well that’s pretty good I guess…. Luther or Calvin?

Man B: I’m sorry?

Man A: Luther or Calvin?

Man B: Ah, well, Calvin I supp-

Man A: Yes! Yes, good, Calvin!

Man B: Ah, OK, good. Look, my name’s Greg. It’s nice to meet you.

Man A: Greg you say. Well Greg, Trinitarian and all that?

Man B: Yes, of course.

Man A: Of course, of course. Now, think fast: Pre, Post, or A?

Man B: I’m sorry, what?

Man A: The millennium! Pre, Post or A?

Man B: Um, well, I don’t- I mean I’m not really decided. Maybe Amillennial, but Postmillennialism could be right, I’ve never really thought hard about tha-

Man A: Ah, well, at least you’re not the other one. Westminster confession?

Man B: Yes, it’s pretty good. Not infallible, mind you, but it’s good.

Man A: Mmmm, sounding a bit liberal there… we’ll work on it. Sola Scriptura?

Man B: Yes, actually. Yes, as long as it’s properly understood.

Man A: Properly understood? That better not be a cop out!

Man B: No, not at all. I just mean that I accept that idea as it was historically understood by the Reformers.

Man A: … alright then. Justification by faith?

Man B: Yes.

Man A: Abortion is wrong right?

Man B: Yes, definitely. It’s like killing anyone else.

Man A: Yes, Amen! Good, good. Same sex marriage. Yes or no?

Man B: No.

Man A: Well said.

Man B: Why are you doin-

Man A: Oh nothing. Nothing, don’t worry. Sounds like you’ll be alright.

Man B: I’m relieved!

Man A: Yes, yes, don’t worry, you’re not like those liberal punks. They’ll be sorry when they end up roasting in hell forever.

Man B: Well you know I’m not really sure that the Bible teaches that that’s what will happ-

Man A: Liberal! Postmodern! You’ve given up a biblical worldview! Heck, you’ve just thrown evangelical Christianity away! You’re so emotional!

Glenn Peoples


Front Row Seats in Hell


The Apostle Paul and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit


  1. Of course you don’t roast in hell forever. You get reincarnated first.

  2. … OK, not THAT much ecumenicalism!

  3. Andrew Thomson

    Well put Glenn. It’s very hard to get anyone to evaluate the biblical evidence, or lack thereof, surrounding their beliefs on life after death. Immediately you question the ruling paradigm, you’re automatically labelled a heretic. What happened to intelligent debate of the evidence? I’ve just left a comment on a piece on life after death over at Thinking Matters you may be interested in.

  4. Thanks Andrew πŸ™‚ I’ve headed over and added my two cents now.

  5. CPE Gaebler

    Hmmm… this post leads me to wonder exactly how hypothetical it is… πŸ˜‰

  6. Draw2much

    When I was in my Middle Teens my Dad (who was US Air Force) got stationed in Egypt for a year without us. During the middle of his tour, he flew us over for two weeks. Those two weeks changed my life.

    Up until then I’d been a snotty little judgmental brat. I had a very similar attitude that your post alludes to. If you didn’t agree with every little thing I did, then obviously you were wrong and doomed! DOOOOOMED!

    But Egypt changed all that. I witnessed, for the first time in my life, what I refer to as True Unity.

    See, in Egypt, saying you’re a Christian is a huge deal. You actually risk losing your life, your career, family, everything. They take it so seriously that after you confess you have a little black cross tattooed on your wrist or upper arm. This is so when/if the Muslims go on a rampage (again!) the Christians can be *easily identified* and unable to deny their faith!

    Now the interesting thing was they assumed anyone who openly claimed Christianity as their religion must be just as serious as they were about it. This meant that when I claimed Christianity, me and my spoiled little American self, were treated as a dear sister in Christ!

    Never in my life had I had that happen! In the States, acceptance is based on your supposed “theological” beliefs, not your faith in Christ. You have to believe everything like the group does, you have to look like them and think like them, and nary an independent thought may you have. That’s the sort of attitude I was used to.

    But these people accepted me right up front. No questioning, no suspicion… just acceptance. I remembering thinking “If Christians really had this type of unity, this type of love for each other, than maybe people would actually *believe* the message of Christ!”

    I still get teary eyed when I think about it. It was so beautiful, but seeing how Christians are in my own country is so heart breaking.

  7. Draw2Much, you do realise that your comment just upstaged my blog, don’t you? πŸ™‚

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