While differing in function, ideally they are complementary and share a common inner nature
To restore meaning to the phrase “church-related college,” we must explore what church and college have in common and how they differ. For church and college to be wholly subject to the Christian revelation has implications for the nature and the function of both.
As a generalization, we can say that churches and their colleges share a common inner nature, that they differ in function, and that these differing functions are complementary. Generalizing further, we can say that the common nature of church and college is summed up in the New Testament word koinonia (fellowship) and that the specialized functions of church and college are proclamation and reflection respectively. Obviously we are concerned here with the philosophic rather than the legal relations between church and college. Thus what is said applies to any seriously Christian college.
Just as koinonia should be the main characteristic sensed by a stranger who comes into a church (“Behold how they love one another”), so koinonia in Christian college faculties can be the distinctive tone that marks these colleges as different. The central justification for insisting on Christian commitment as a qualification for faculty is to ensure not merely that proper indoctrination occurs but also that koinonia is shown.
The body of Christ—a concept that applies to Christian faculties—has an organic unity rather than the unity of a jigsaw puzzle. All the members sustain one another as if the same lifeblood flowed through them all. The freedom of each member is heightened by functioning within the discipline of the body. No college faculty can be a collection of individualists and yet be ...1
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