Celebrating the 150th anniversary of “The Declaration and Address” of Thomas Campbell, more than 3,000 members of Christian Churches and Churches of Christ assembled in Atlanta June 24–28.
This annual gathering was unique in many ways. It was made up of ministers and laymen who are generally considered to be a part of the International Convention of Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) and are so reported in its Year Book. But because of the congregational polity of this communion they are free to associate themselves in this testimony for “the faith once for all delivered to the saints.” In fact, this North American Christian Convention, which is considered “non-denominational, non-official and non-delegate,” has been meeting for 32 years.
“Christian Unity: Our Unchanging Plea” was the Atlanta theme, consonant with the thrust of the famous document of Thomas Campbell’s written in 1809. More than 4 million church members in America and another million overseas acknowledge this religious heritage, although they are now of three schools of thought as to how “the plea” should be implemented.
Olin W. Hay, convention president, opened the sessions with a definitive address in which he held that true ecumenicity can be achieved in our modern world only if there is a recognition of the authority of Christ, conformity to the New Testament pattern, diversity in matters of human opinion and charity toward all men. Other speakers dealt with Christian unity in church history, in theological terms, with respect to current ecumenical movements, and in its practical aspects among the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. Louis Cochran, author of The Fool of God, an historical novel based on the life of Alexander Campbell, was a special ...1
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