"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Christ Founded a Visible Church


Thanks to YouTube account of Called to Communion

One of the most fundamental differences between the Protestant and Catholic ecclesial paradigms concerns the nature of the Church that Christ founded. According to the predominant Protestant paradigm, the Church itself is a spiritual, invisible entity, though some of its members, namely, all those believers still living in this present life, are visible, because they are embodied.

In the Protestant paradigm, anyone who has true faith in Christ is ipso facto a member of the one Church that Christ founded. This Protestant paradigm does not acknowledge that Christ founded a visible hierarchically organized Body.1 By contrast, the Catholic Church for 2,000 years has believed and taught that the incarnate Christ founded a visible, hierarchically organized Body. In the Catholic paradigm, faith in Christ is not sufficient by itself to make a person a member of this Body; a believer is incorporated into this Body by valid baptism, but is removed from this Body either by heresy, apostasy, schism, or excommunication.

The Reformed confessions affirm the visibility of the Church, so that raises a particular question: with respect to visibility, how is Reformed ecclesiology distinct both from the common Protestant ecclesial paradigm and from Catholic ecclesiology? In this article we first show that Christ founded His Church as a visible Body, and why He did so. Then we present the various positions and argue that the Reformed ecclesiology is equivalent in essence to the common Protestant ecclesial paradigm. Finally, we draw out some important implications following from the visibility of the Church. Read more in "Called to Communion...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated by the blog owner.

Thank you and God bless you.

My Blog List

My Calendar

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...