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Ecclesial Plurality

Started by Randy Bosch, July 21, 2020, 10:03:21 AM

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Keith Falk

Quote from: Charles Austin on August 03, 2020, 03:38:17 PM
Actually I think Pastor Fienen is wrong about me not understanding his concerns. I think I do understand them. And I think that, to some extent, they are the wrong concerns. He does not speak much about evangelism or gospel outreach or bringing people in. He is worried that too much pluralism within "unity" will hurt. That it will undercut doctrine, that agreements are too difficult or even impossible. That differences will remain and that they will be church-dividing.
I keep asking about the effect of these "divisions" on evangelism and outreach and how those outside the Jesus fellowship see us.
Certain aspects of ELCA ecumenism illustrate, I think, part of the problem. He and others here look at our agreement with the reformed churches and applied to that agreement the arguments and the situation of the 16th century.
We say that the divisions of that century need not be divisive today. First, we and the reformed have changed since those days when Calvin and Luther and Zwingli pamphleted against each other. And we see the possibility of stronger congregations, and more expansive outreach when Lutheran's and Presbyterians can be fully United in Mission and in ministry.
Within that United ministry there may be some pluralism in views of the sacrament or on other matters.
Pastor Fienen And a number of others in this modest forum have not been through decades of close and sometimes tough ecumenical dialogue to get to this point. Quite the contrary. They and their church body have spent years looking at our dialogs and the results and denouncing them.
I get that.
The Jacobs article, I believe, understandsThe need for a certain kind of "united pluralism" if the church is to be in evangelical mission today.

"A Formula of Agreement" is 23 years old - where is the evidence of "stronger congregations, and more expansive outreach"? 

To be clear - I am not asking to be argumentative.  It seems that after two decades of having an agreement in place that the church bodies in those agreements should be showing some evidence somewhere of the positive impact (stronger congregations and more expansive outreach) of the agreements.
Rev. Keith Falk, STS

Dave Likeness

Various denominations can have blueprints for evangelism that look
encouraging and dynamic.  However, it gets down to the local parish
to have a dynamic evangelism program.  Pastoral leadership is the
key to a robust witnessing congregation.  The pastor himself must
have a passion for reaching the unchurched and set the example.

Scheduling Adult Instruction Classes in the Spring and Fall is a good
start.  Then the pastor and members can do the inviting to those
classes. They look around at their relatives, their friends, their
neighbors, their co-workers and see who does not know Christ
as their Savior.

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