By Alan P. F. Sell, Ross T. Bender
What are the main major issues at factor among the Reformed and Mennonite communions–Baptism, peace and church-state family members? Is there a fashion ahead? within the desire that there's, the participants to this ebook try to transparent easy methods to nearer kinfolk among Reformed and Mennonites by means of cautious scholarly dialogue of the regularly disputed questions.
The papers accrued the following have been provided on the moment part of the overseas discussion among the realm Alliance of Reformed church buildings (Presbyterian and Congregational) and the Mennonite global convention. There are Reformed and Mennonite experiences of the subjects, including the responses of a thinker of religions, a sociologist, a scientific theologian and a church historian. within the creation the discussion is determined in its old and modern ecumenical context, and the belief, drafted through the discussion members, has been forwarded to the 2 international our bodies for his or her attention and motion. this crucial paintings can be suitable to all destiny scholarly study into the becoming debate among Reformed and Mennonite communions.
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Extra resources for Baptism, Peace and the State in the Reformed and Mennonite Traditions
The church has no other existence than in actu Christi, that is in actu apostoli.... The real autochthony of the church, the soil in which it should be rooted, is the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. —would go so far as Hoekendijk, but the emphasis is clear. The Church is the covenant community of those who have been called to make disciples of all nations, to announce and serve the coming of the Kingdom of God. It is thoroughly and completely worldly. It is that portion of the world which has been qualified by knowing and believing in God's reconciling purpose for the whole world in Christ.
Children and the retarded are not required to believe or disbelieve these words, but those who are born from the knowledge of good and evil into the innocence and simplicity of faith are required to believe. 17 The insight in this passage is that children — and, one should note, the retarded, that is, all those who will never reach a condition of mature, independent judgment — are part of the Church, present and blessed by Christ along with the rest of us. The errors, it seems to me, are two: (1) that children and the retarded are innocent, that is, without participation in the sin of the rest of the human race, and (2) that baptism is not really a ceremony of initiation into the life of the Church with Christ but rather a purgative ritual which makes us again like children.
It is also well known that the Reformers took basic issue with this attribution of effective saving grace to acts of the Church in and of themselves (ex opere operate). They reinstated the primacy of the Word both in the sense that the Gospel should be proclaimed and in the sense that Christ the Word in Scripture is prior to and conditions all human acts. They reduced the number of sacraments to two, baptism and the Lord's Supper, on the grounds (questionable in the case of baptism) that they were commanded by the Lord.