Monday, September 10, 2007

After Our Likeness - 2

In the Introduction of After Our Likeness Volf identifies
"the worm of modernity... [as] slowly eating away at the root of this will to ecclesial community; faith lived ecclesially is being replaced by faith lived individualistically.... The ecclesiological dispute concerning the church as community is therefore simultaneously a missiological dispute concerning the correct way in which the communal form of Christian faith today is to be lived authentically and transmitted effectively." p. 11
Volf is very clearly rooting mission in the context of ecclesial community. He goes on to describe this individualization of faith in terms of the "privatization of decision" and a "generalization of values".

Volf is a defender of ecumenical study / dialogue and states that one of the intentions of his book
"is to contribute toward making the Free Churches and their esslesiology (or ecclesiologies) presentable... At the same time I will try to teach them something in the way of good theological and ecumenical manners." p. 20-21
While Volf is committed "to the plurality of ecclesial models", he is
"not... suggesting that we accept an anarchy of ecclesial models. An ecclesial model acquires theological legitimacy through an appeal to the New Testament witness concerning the church, and through reflection on how faith in the triune God and in salvation in Jesus Christ is to intersect with the cultural situations in which churches live." p. 22
I find it interesting, and telling of much theological reflection on the church, that in the above appeal to theological legitimacy, there is no mention of the Spirit [even though he uses the phrase "triune God" many people equate God with Father God or the first person of the trinity].

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