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I began my Christian journey, like most I suppose, with a narrow doctrinal point of view. But, I was curious and did not stay within denominational boundaries. The graduate school of theology that I chose had professors who were from a wide variety of Protestant backgrounds. Professors there tried to give the pros and cons of a variety of different points of view on each doctrine, leaving the conclusion up to us. I particularly remember the just war verses pacifism class in Christian Ethics. Our professor was so balanced in his delivery that we did not know his own point of view until we pressed him on it at the end of the class. We used the Zondervan Counterpoint series a lot during those years, but I was always disappointed that the two largest Christian churches were left out of their series, the Catholic and Orthodox. After seminary, I have pursued a study of those two denominations as well. It always disappoints me when any denomination claims to be the "one true Church" because of a mode of baptism, historic claims to apostolic succession, Saturday Sabbath keeping, etc. Overlooking the bigotry that exists in all our denominations, I have found so much wonderful wisdom, exegesis, historical background and along with such wonderful knowledge, agreement on the essentials of our faith. What Jesus says in John 17:1-11 strikes me as more important than bragging about which of our earthly institutions is the "one true church." He says that we are one in the Father and the Son. What better claim to unity could there be?

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