Wednesday, September 26, 2007

THOUGHT BUBBLE--criteria for holiness and catholicity

As the researching and writing of my ThM thesis continues, I will be posting some "thought bubbles" for the purpose of critique and clarification. Questions, comments, and corrections are welcome.
(continuing with Clowney)

In his chapter on holiness and catholicity, Clowney brings us back to the Scriptures and past traditional doctrine. Drawing on Paul’s epistolary salutations, he discerns two movements in holiness. In the initial movement, those who trust Christ are given Christ’s righteousness and are made holy. In the continuing movement, those who trust Christ are commanded to live accordingly and be holy. The church (the gathered holy ones) is holy in both movements.

In his discussion of catholicity, Clowney goes against merely inclusivist notions and grounds his definition in the Church’s connection to Christ. The church is composed of all those who are in Christ. While this is seemingly inclusive, Clowney goes on to note that the church is composed only of those who are in Christ. This is decidedly exclusive and goes against such documents as Vatican II.

The question is, by what visible/knowable criteria are holiness and catholicity discerned?

NOTE: This is a rumination ("1. The act of pondering; meditation. 2. The act or process of chewing cud." American Heritage Dictionary) in search of synergy ("1. The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.")


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“Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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