John Richardson has been posting on unity, truth, and overcoming fissiparous tendencies in Protestantism. Here is a brilliant list from his latest post:
"In this post I’m going to try to sum up my thoughts about the causes, and possible cure, of this disunity within Protestantism. Here are the key points so far:
1. The gospel demands unity. There is ‘one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all.’
2. Christian unity is, however, ‘unity in the truth’, not in ‘structures’. It is possible to be baptized and enjoying fellowship in the Lord’s supper, yet outside the truth (1 Cor 10:1-6).
3. Historically, Protestantism is inherently divisive. This is clear evidence that something is wrong, since the gospel is inherently unifying.
4. This divisiveness is due not to the principle of sola scriptura, as some have suggested, but to an overestimation of ‘private judgement’.
5. The individual is not the author of doctrine.
6. The Christian is, first and foremost a learner.
7. Christ himself instituted the office of teachers in the Church, from whom Christians should learn the faith.
8. The task of the teacher is faithfully to hand on, and defend, the Apostolic tradition.
9. Teachers therefore need to be as fully aware as possible of the history of the Church and its established doctrines.
10. Theological history helps us discern ‘dead ends’ and ‘positive trends’ (the ‘Gamaliel’ principle). Theological history favours contemporary conservatism.
11. Creeds and confessions represent the past work of the Church in attempting to establish sound doctrine in accordance with the Apostolic tradition.
12. Churches may rightly expect their members to have due regard to their own formularies.
13. A Church (denomination) which does not have proper regard for its formularies will become authoritarian since, in the face of doctrinal division, it will use its disciplinary measures to enforce structural unity."
I urge you to read the whole post!