Universalis, About this blog

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Survey of Chistendom Reformed

Interesting online opinion here about the topic. I don't think that the author is actually pushing for everything becoming one under Rome under a monolithic model, but he is pushing rather aggressively for some unitive direction. It is not a bad position, I guess. No one really knows how a singular, visibly united Church consisting of Protestants, Evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox will ever look in the future. We continue to hope, however, and trust in Christ's powerful prayer for unity in John 17.

Something that came to mind was whether confessional Protestants, Evangelicals and Baptists (I'm sure I didn't quite get all the appellations, e.g., emergent; but I do mean all adherents of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide) should first attempt to overcome their theological differences and become one spiritual communion. [That is how I think the Eucharist is received in the aforementioned denominations except among Lutherans and Anglicans, that the Eucharist is symbolic but they receive Christ spiritually] But, come to think of it, it isn't that simple. I am no expert, but I think that the aggressively non-sacramental theology of Baptists, not to mention their particular notion of predestination, will not sit well at all with Lutherans. Catholics and Lutherans hold baptism and the Eucharist as very real sacraments. Likewise, Evangelical who worship in mega-churches are very different to Lutheran and Anglical notions of liturgy centered on the Eucharist.

Perhaps the only real way forward is to proceed to who truly is in the center: the head of the Church, Jesus Christ. This is not to discount the Church, his body, since by this I mean the Church of the last 2000 years, within which are several Fathers and councils that most Christians of any ilk are willing to listen to, as with the creeds. Nonetheless, this requires a profoundly different stance towards ecumenism. It must go beyond "I'm okay, you're okay, we're okay". Taking my queue from the down-to-earth approach of Mark Shea, it really must come down to responding to the Lord's question:

"Who do you say that I am?"

And that does not exclude looking around to what other Christians across the river are saying. We might just learn something, and that goes for Catholics, too.

No comments: