Common Features

Third stream Christian movements tend to have a number of similar features, emphasised in varying degrees and expressed in different ways. These include:

1. An evangelical theology of salvation

2. The best of the Catholic mystic tradition

3. A radical attempt to recapture New Testament expressions of church life

4. An emphasis on practical discipleship of members

5. A non-hierarchical leadership structure

The other striking feature of such movements is that, more often than not, they tend to be short-lived. One of three things tend to happen to them. Either they succumb to heresy and gradually lose their way doctrinally; or they are crushed under the force of external persecution; or, finally, such movements gradually change into second stream movements.

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