Mills points out, "The mainline churches have all tried four alternatives [to doctrine] in the last three decades, to no avail." Those alternatives are,
1. A Common Ethical Standard
2. A Common Experience
3. A Common Process
4. A Common Institution or Heritage.
In the end, says Mills, all of these have failed to maintain unity. "The church cannot proclaim a word of judgment or speak a word of healing unless it can speak dogmatically, unless it can say with confidence, 'Thus saith the Lord.'"