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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Why stay?

Recently, Christianity Today published an editorial suggesting that some denominational splits -- schisms, if you will -- are justified. The writer held up the current controversy in the Episcopal Church as an example.

My bishop has written a response. It's worth reading. We do not see eye to eye on everything, he and I; my theological views tend to be more moderate than his. In this case, however, I am in wholehearted agreement. I do not believe the importance of working together through division and brokenness can be overstated.


Blogger The young fogey said...

I'll have a go at this. It all seems to hang on a Catholic vs Protestant understanding of the church. The former is a paradox, a kind of tension: sinless, infallible body of Christ made up of sinful people. The latter favours a view of individual believers voluntarily associated, rather loosely.

A conservative Presbyterian gentleman who taught history told me once that he saw a criterion on which Christians can and should unite or divide: views on the Eucharist. It seems a logical way to differentiate among the credally orthodox. You'd end up with three churches:

• complete change of the elements into Christ, the Catholic position, which would bring together Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrians and Anglo-Catholics;
• Real Presence short of that, a via media (classical Anglicans and Lutherans... the Methodists may fit here as well) and
• at the other end, bare memorialism, which is where I think my Presby friend was coming from.

Based on that and other controversial issues, some of more interest to people today than Communion, I tend to agree with CT but can admire your bishop's attempt to be a peacemaker. He sounds like an orthodox Central Churchman.

Some division and brokenness isn't tenable or humanly reconcilable: Jews for Hitler to give a silly example, or the Christian Church and the Church of Satan.

The creed, the Sacrament and morals are such flash-points for Christians.

As I like to say, all such controversy ultimately is about where God meets men in the flesh: who Jesus is, what the Eucharist is and sex. The last of course is the only one secular people care about.

After all, Jesus said he'd cause divisions: the great skandalon (to use a nice Greek word) of the Incarnation.


March 13, 2006 10:10 AM  

Anonymous shari said...

I left my comment on this subject on titusonenine, when it was first published.

Haven't anything to add.



March 13, 2006 5:02 PM  

Anonymous shari said...


Wolves or Tares?

Fr. William De Arteaga's response to Bishop Little entitled "Wolves or Tares" is also worth reading, as are the comments

March 15, 2006 8:10 PM  

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