Our generation is unsurpassed for voluble discussion and debate over the relevant principles of the unity of the Church and of the theology of Christian worship.
Such preoccupation was foreign to First Century Christianity. The early followers of Jesus Christ manifested unquestioned union in Christ and unquestioned confidence in the great verities of special revelation. Already operative with one accord in Christ, they required no organizational directives for an undivided union.
Contemporary ecumenical inquiry unveils a striking departure from this apostolic setting. Today’s professing Church is a vast arena of debate: the nature of the Church; the theology of revelation; even the person and work of Jesus Christ comprise this grievous spectacle of ambiguity. Each participant assumes withal his indisputable inclusion in the body Christ heads. This Twentieth Century approach to the problems of Christian fellowship too often exposes, sadly enough, a spiritual community unsure of its moorings, uncertain of its destiny.
Many Protestant churchmen are looking now toward Oberlin, Ohio. Here from September 3–10 a North American Faith and Order study conference of the World Council of Churches will weigh “The Nature of the Unity We Seek.” The sessions will consider not only organizational structures and cultural pressures, but also will wrestle over faithfulness to the eternal Gospel, including the strategic problem of doctrinal agreement and variance.
CHRISTIANITY TODAY has requested seven of its contributing editors, of different denominational affiliations, to discuss neglected emphases in contemporary discussions of the church as a stimulating addition to current reflection on “The Body Christ Heads.”
G. C. ...1
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