This book is a careful study on the issue of unity within the church. Armstrong does not argue for wide ecumenicalism or unity at any cost. Far from it. But he does ask the question, and raises suggestions as to why it is that the church – those who declare Jesus Christ to be Lord, are so divided. Where is Unity amongst those who profess the core beliefs of the faith? And it’s a good and challenging question. While there are groups claiming to be Christian which we should not unite to because of unscriptural beliefs why does the orthodox church (by this I mean churches believing in the core doctrines of the historic faith) find it SO hard to unite? This book provides some background to this question, as well as some analysis. Armstrong is heavily influenced by J.I Packer.
Is there a solution? Armstrong does not give a solution so much as a suggested pattern. For him unity is created in the trenches of shared life – person to person, congregation to congregation. It is made through human relationships within families and communities where we live. Will the Episcopal Church and the Baptists unite to work together on a denominational level? No. Should a bible believing, orthodox Episcopal Church be united with a local Baptist church for the work of the kingdom in their city – of course they should. Should two families from different church traditions but sharing the same core beliefs of biblical Christianity work together for the gospel – yes they should. And it is on this level that such unity, for Armstrong, is so vital to the future of the church. On the local level we need to smash down the walls which divide orthodox believers so that more unity, working together, even pulpit swaps can take place. This would transform our cities.