At every level of church life from the local congregation to worldwide denominations, Christians can find themselves in turmoil and divided over a range of important issues. Many conclude that harmony is not achievable, and never will be. Can we, as Archbishop Justin Welby has asked, transform ‘bad disagreement’ into ‘good disagreement’? What would that look like in practice?
This book is designed to help readers unpack the idea of ‘good disagreement’ and apply it to their own church situations. It doesn’t enter into specific contentious debates, but instead considers issues such as reconciliation, division, discipline, peacemaking, mediation and mission. It asks what needs to happen for those from differing viewpoints to both listen and be heard, and does not shy away from hard questions about unity in the gospel and the church’s public witness.
The book draws lessons from the New Testament, church history, and contemporary experience, with chapters from a dozen theologians and practitioners. They are editors Andrew Atherstone and Andrew Goddard, Tory Baucum, Martin Davie, Lis Goddard, Clare Hendry, Toby Howarth, Ashley Null, Ian Paul, Stephen Ruttle, Michael B. Thompson, and Tom Wright.