12/09/2010

Tobias Haller Nails It.

One Means One,  Tobias Haller nails it. In a short compact statement he gives the best slam dunk response to all the talk of unity in the face of the reality of our multiplicity as Christian institutions and communities. Read it, and say no more.


There is a certain elegance to his writing style, one reflective of his elegance as a person. Some of us are, some of us aren't. 

4 comments:

  1. Nothing is nailed here at all. If it was we Anglicans would be making our tables open to presiding by ministers not ordained by bishops (and certainly to priests ordained by ACNA bishops). The fact is we are not about to do so because we have a view about the limits to what constitutes the organic church.

    In our view the organic church has some limitations, or, order, and the institutional church is, essentially, the organic church giving expression to that order (with consequences such as regular synods and coventions to keep that order in trim, if not to revise it from time to time).

    In other words the organic church and the institutional church are not completely separable. Even were there a miracle in which the institutional churches of the world combined into one organic-and-institutional church we would not dissolve the institution because we would still wish to define the organic church against lookalikes such as the Mormans, Christadelphians, Jehovah Witnesses etc.

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  2. Thanks, Mark. Needless to say I dissent strongly from Peter's assertion, at least as he words it here. He is so enamored of the "institutional solution" that he thinks we would have to open our altars to those whose orders we might find faulty if my thesis were correct. (And I think it is, since it is what the BCP says!) I am not denying the existence of the institutional church(s) -- but that behind all of that institutional structure there is a real church, the real church, which is, as the BCP defines it, the Body of Christ. All the rest of what Peter calls "organic" here is institutional; I might even say, Denominational (as in, "that's what it is called.")

    In the meantime, the realities of mutual recognition of ministers, and limits to the institutional unity of the church, are indeed realities. I just think they are realities we can live with, as we have since the first century, when there was no central government of all Christians. Order "orders" the church, in its doing, but not in its being.

    If it comes to it along institutional lines I prefer the Orthodox / Anglican model of autonomous regional churches in communion with each other; others prefer the papal model, and congregationalists get along just fine being Christians and members of the One Church without much superstructure -- but these models are just that: It is a matter of form and substance. There is a single substantial church with many formal distinctions in its various manifestations. It is good to keep these distinctions in mind, while focusing on the underlying unity of all who are baptized.

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  3. "...but that behind all of that institutional structure there is a real church, the real church, which is, as the BCP defines it, the Body of Christ." (Tobias)

    Like "The Church Not Made With Hands" (The Waterboys" - "she is everywhere and nowhere..."

    Thanks, Tobias.

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  4. institutional unity is not the most important kind......... but why did TEC accept BO33 and one of its bishops being scapegoated at Lambeth 08 in order to stay in Rowan's club?? Too much value on institutional unity?? seems so....

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