I. The Church's Wholeness
The Church is catholic (kath' holon: according to the whole; universal, holistic).
All Christian life is Spirit-given (1 Cor 12:1-11), evangelical (1:20-2:5), and in common (1 Cor 12:12-14:40).
The Church occupies a special place in creation, "in Christ" (1 Cor 1:2), "inheriting the Kingdom of God" (6:9-11), and "at the ends of the ages" (10:11).
What is your or my relationship with it, and with one another?
Participatory love (Luke 10:25-28, John 13:31-35, 1 Cor 10:23-24, 12:4-7, 1 Cor 13, 1 John 3:11-24, etc.).
II. A Promise or a Possession?
Ignatius: "wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the catholic Church."
Vincent of Lerins: the catholic faith is "that which is believed everywhere, always, and by all."
Cyril of Jerusalem: the Church is sufficient, having everything for salvation.
'Eschatological' (progressive?) catholicity:
Catholicity as an eschatological process, not a quality already realized.
The Holy Spirit's work is to 'catholicize' the Church.
A thriving church body will have unity and power in fruitful relationships among increasingly healthy persons.
III. Traditional Rival Accounts of Catholicity
'Catholic', 'Orthodox', 'Anglican' and mainstream 'ecumenical' catholicity:
Full communion, on the grounds of (so the Lambeth Quadrilateral) Scriptures, creeds, sacraments, episcopate. (Papacy too?)
A life ordered by Word and sacraments is formally and materially sufficient for the Church's wholeness.
Christian life is necessarily a shared life of loving discipleship.
A local church is a whole church, with fellowship but no necessary dependence on others.
IV. Recent Accounts of Catholicity
A whole body features the full original range and the proper exercise of Christ's spiritual gifts (Acts 11:15, Heb 13:8).
Xenolalia: Proclaiming God's mighty works in foreign (unlearned?) tongues (Acts 2:4), which begins with the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:5-8).
Glossolalia: Ecstatic prophecy and prayer in "the tongues of angels" (1 Cor 12:28, 13:1, 14:1-33), which begins with incorporation into Christ (1 Cor 12:3-6).
Other neglected gifts: prophecy, words of knowledge, healing, exorcism, apostleship, prosperity....
Are these gifts for every church? every believer? Have some gifts ceased in specific contexts (cessationism, 1 Cor 14:22)? What constitutes abuse? (1 Cor 11:29; Acts 8:18-24). How are glossolalia and xenolalia related? Are tongues unique among spiritual gifts? (cf. 1 Cor 14).
Catholicizing involves "conscientization" and structurally including the structurally excluded (James 2, Acts 4:31-37, 6:1-7).
Social structures cause injustice (Marx). Imperialism turned evangelism into civilization, the Church into a colonizer, and Jesus into a willing victim (Latin American crucifixes). Yet ...
God is the God of the poor. God's work is liberation. Salvation is communal as God is communal. The poor have a privileged perspective on God. Jesus is a radical revolutionary restructuring his order. Word, sacraments, and theology are for furthering liberation.
Ethnic, gender, and other variations hold that what the Church lacks in human diversity or universality, it lacks in catholicity (Col 1:19-23, Eph 2:11-22).
Issues: Does liberation theology correct other inadequate accounts of catholicity? Or is it a 'false contextualization' of the gospel? Does it have reductionist or misdirected doctrines of election, salvation, knowledge, humanity, or church? Which diversities (for instance, sexuality) owe to 'creation' and which are 'fallen'?