This paper1 looks at some situations in church history where compromise was sought, the issues involved, and the reactions of those who had to make decisions. Some resulted in a vindication of the truth, some in compromise—‘the arrangement of a dispute by concessions on both sides; partial surrender of one’s position, for the sake of coming to terms’2—acceptable in matters of Christian liberty, but unacceptable in matters of Christian truth. Particular attention is paid to the twentieth century, because ecumenical compromise is so strong a phenomenon now, and because we live in the light of actions taken earlier this century. The aim is to consider situations, not personalities, and we are conscious of our own weakness—‘let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall’.3
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