Just by writing that sentence I separate myself from other Christians to a degree, because not all Christians are theologically conservative, Protestant, or Calvinistic.
The separation is not removal from the group, it is an an acknowledgement of distinctiveness from within the group.
Most readers of this blog would identify themselves as part of a larger sub group within the Christian tradition, that being theologically conservative Protestants.
I’m including Lutherans in that sub group for the sake of this article.
We have our differences and distinctive ways we express our faith and critics make much of those differences and distinctions.
We have much, much more in common.
For me, being a Christian begins with the foundation stones of orthodoxy that are often referred to as the “kerygma”, the basic Gospel of the New Testament.
1. The Incarnation of Christ through the virgin birth.
2. The atoning death of Christ on the cross.
3. The resurrection of Christ.
4. The ascension of Christ.
5. The return of Christ at the end of the age .
Those doctrines are the basis of orthodox Christianity that conservatives agree on.
Those who are Protestant trace their tradition back to the Reformation of the 16th century where we add one more distinctive.
The question before the house in that time was one of authority.
Protestants and Lutherans believe that the Bible is the sole source of spiritual authority rather than a combination of the church and the Bible, tradition and the Bible, or all three together.
Do we interpret the Scriptures differently at places?
We do…but we agree that they are authoritative for doctrine and practice.
In other words, the Bible is authoritative, though our interpretations of it are subject to our humanity.
We affirm the basic doctrines in the Apostles and Nicene Creeds
We also agree on the importance of prayer, the need for baptism, the importance of worship, that works are part of the faith, and that love is the mark of true believers.
We believe in justification by grace through faith.
What are other things that we hold in common?
What unites us rather than divides us?