Random Links #330 on Church

60 Theologians on an Ecclesiological Spectrum

Looks like I’m pretty high church based on Andy’s spectrum 🙂

What is a church?  Allow me in this post to introduce you to three phrases:

esse notae ecclesiae (essential marks of the church)

bene notae ecclesiae (good marks of the church)

plene notae ecclesiae (full marks of the church)

My thesis is that there are substantive differences along the ecclesiological spectrum regarding the first category–the esse notae ecclesiae (essential marks of the church) but that there is ecumenical potential–that is their possibility for broad consensus–around the second and third categories.

All Christians believe that a church should be "one holy catholic and apostolic" as the Nicene Creed says.  All Christians believe a community needs a few "essential marks of the church" (esse notae ecclesiae) to be "a church."  Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox require structural identification with what they perceive to be "the Church" that traces its identity back to the apostles through apostolic succession.  The Reformers are famous for calling for two marks: "the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered."  Others suggest "a church" is any group that gathers in the name of Jesus:  "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" (Matthew 18:20).

Pastoral Care is Out the Window

some might say, “What do we pay pastors to do?”

It really doesn’t matter what model a church uses as long as the model doesn’t depend on the lead pastor to do it. Even the smallest church shouldn’t require the pastor to do the congregational care. It just isn’t biblical and it robs the congregation of one of its most potent assets – caring for one another.

A Critical Mass for the Critical Mess

With a first line like this, you will be provoked to think deeper.

I personally think we need to kill Sunday School and Confirmation before it kills the church.

Criticism of Virtual Community and Cyber churches

Supper before sleep anyone?

“Cyber-worship and churches have begun replacing traditional Christian worship and churches. This increasing phenomenon will result in a certain wearing away of the historical institutional churches and worship.”
The problems of the cyber-church are as follows. First, the cyber-church can never be a spiritual church. It risks the danger that in the electronically mediated virtual world the experience of the holy will become visual and secularized. It also faces the danger that the Word of God pervading the depth of the soul will be changed into the on-screen messages of the electronically reduced multimedia. Second, the cyber-church is not a real church. It is merely a virtual church, existing only in the electronic network of the Internet. Third, the cyber-church lacks face-to-face encounter and personal fellowship. Dialogue with a partner on-screen is not the same as dialogue with someone whom one knows personally. “

Yuang Han Kim, The Identity of Reformed Theology and Its Ecumenicity in the Twenty-First Century: Reformed Theololgy as Transformational Cultural Theology, Reformed Theology: Identity and Ecumenicity, Wallace M. Alston, Michael Welker editors

Working bibliography of biblical studies books on ecclesiology

Thanks Andy for this list.

Missional Church Reading List

Yes I’m in reading, study and writing mode. When I wake up, it will be round two.

About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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