One True Church?
(add ... history of ecumenical movement? visions/strategies of ecumenism?
- I. What Is the Unity of the Church?
1. The unity of Father or Son or Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:12-13, Gal 3:28).
- Abuse: Unitarian homogeneity/totalitarianism.
- 2. The unity of Father and Son and Holy Spirit (John 17:20-23).
- Abuse: Tritheistic pluralism/anarchy.
- Either way, the Church's unity is God's unity, a gift and reflection of God.
- II. What Is Unity's Basis or Medium?
Catholics and Orthodox: Communion with the apostles' successors
- (Catholics: and ultimately the Bishop of Rome).
Effect: Unity is formal, institutional continuity.
- Protestants: Obedience to Scripture through the gift of apostolic faith.
- Effect: Unity is "invisible," doctrinal agreement.
Effect: Confessions and statements of faith proliferate.
- Pentecostals and charismatics: The presence of God through the Holy Spirit.
- Effect: Spiritual gifts and fruit are the only final evidence.
Effect: Unity is spiritual, ethical, 'felt'.
- III. All of the Above?
- Lesslie Newbigin: These types are each insufficient.
Christ always has two mediators: Holy Spirit and Church
- ("The Church's One Foundation").
- Bishops, Word, sacraments are media of the Holy Spirit, and ...
- the Holy Spirit's action takes concrete verbal, sacramental, and institutional forms.
Disunity compromises the Church's witness, injures the body of Christ.