Wednesday, October 03, 2007

THOUGHT BUBBLE--unam catholicam ecclesiam

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 Barth

The catholicity of the church, by which is meant that which is general and comprehensive, the essence of which true church is recognized as true, is found only in the union of the church with her Head, Jesus Christ. Any church having a different essence—as in its ecclesiastical structure or doctrinal commitments—is not the true church. Catholicity, therefore, is not a matter of human wisdom, but is a matter of trust and is known by revelation. It is found in the real, essential connection between the body of Christ—the church—and the Head—Jesus.

The first three marks are given by revelation and understood by faith. This puts them beyond human reach and places them squarely in the purview of the Holy Spirit. The question is, how can we know whether a specific congregation bears the marks? Barth answers this question with apostolicity…but more on that later.

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.")


See CC License

“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.”


  1. Message from the department of redundancy department:

    This is the second "THOUGHT BUBBLE 7"

    I like the post. Too often, modern churches get hung up on dogma and minor doctrine and forget that Jesus Christ is our commonality.

  2. Ah...I get it. On the first read, I skimmed over the notice from the department of redundancy department...many apologies.

    Oct 9, in Talbot chapel, William Mounce spoke on theological imbalance. I think his call for balance fits here. There must be balance between the centrality of Christ and concern for secondary issues. We ought not compromise what we believe to be true, but secondary issues must not divide us.