Divided We Fall
Overcoming a History of Christian Disunity
Throughout the centuries, Christians have longed to be united with one another—supporting each other and working in harmony. But our reality is very different, and we need only to read the New Testament to realize that disunity has been with us from the start.
What can we do to foster unity and deeper community in a world where so many relationships are fractured and fractious? Luder Whitlock Jr. explores God’s desire for unity in the church, overviews the history of global Christianity with an eye on its schisms and agreements, and points us toward the necessity of God-honoring fellowship, laying out steps we can take to increase trust and develop understanding, especially within the church.
As governments grow increasingly unsupportive of Christianity, it is even more important for us to listen to each other and work together for the common good—despite our many differences.
“Luder Whitlock’s book is something of a cri de coeur for greater unity in the church. At a time when Christian leaders are almost obsessed about the culture, this book rightly argues that we will shape the broader society only to the degree that we make the Christian church what it should be. And in our present moment, the unity of the church is both a witness to the world and a necessity for its strength and vitality. Luder’s appeal comes from long experience and membership in several denominations. He marshals evidence for his contentions from the Bible, theology, history, and organizational literature. Not everyone will agree with every proposal or every argument, but overall the book makes a compelling case.”
—Timothy Keller, Senior Pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City
“Whitlock is a trusted voice for Christians because he evidences deep wisdom, compassion, and maturity, as well as intellect and skill. This book calls the church to gospel unity in ways that will provoke you to think, ponder, and pray.”
—Russell Moore, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
“An unusually helpful challenge to follow Christ as head of the church. Biblically rooted, historically informed, and pastorally helpful, this book gracefully fulfills its purpose of strengthening unity and community in Christ’s church.”
—Mark A. Noll, Author, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind
“As the relevance of the church is increasingly called into question, visible unity becomes essential to the fruitful witness of Christ’s people. . . . A must- read for all those interested in experiencing the joy of real community with fellow believers.”
—Carmen Fowler LaBerge, President, Presbyterian Lay Committee
“If you’ve ever wondered why the church is so fragmented, Luder Whitlock, one of America’s premier ecclesiastical statesmen, provides a compelling answer. If you’ve longed for greater unity in the body of Christ, here is balm for your soul. Whitlock’s Divided We Fall issues a gracious plea for renewed concern for biblical unity. His thoughtful analysis of the church’s ages-long proclivity for disunity is convicting yet encouraging as it challenges us to pursue a fresh commitment to Christian community. This is a much-needed study for both leaders and congregants, especially for us in the Reformed and Presbyterian traditions. Divided We Fall will help you to reassess and address the spirit of partisanship, independence, and schism that lurks within our hearts and the culture of our churches.”
—Peter A. Lillback, President, Westminster Theological Seminary
Luder G. Whitlock Jr. served as president of Reformed Theological Seminary from 1978–2001, where he had previously been a professor. Today he is executive director of the CNL Charitable Foundation and the JMS Foundation; president of Excelsis; and minister at large for the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando. He and his wife, Mary Lou, have three children and eleven grandchildren.