Thursday, October 04, 2007

THOUGHT BUBBLE--unam apostolicam 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.

Apostolicity is a subject of much disagreement. Some traditions hold to a specific form of apostolic succession. Barth refutes this as external, insufficient, and false.

For Barth, apostolic means the community listens to and is subject to the Scriptures. Through the Word, the Holy Spirit works and brings the Church into alignment with the work and will of God.

As such, apostolicity is the concrete measure of the other three marks. We cannot know whether a specific church is one, holy, and catholic outside of its following or not following the Scripture.

Here is his summary from page 712 of IV.62 (peruse an excerpt here)

Una describes its singularity. Sancta describes the particularity which underlies this singularity. Catholica describes the essence in which it manifests and maintains itself in this particularity and singularity. And finally, apostolica does not say anything new, in relation to these three definitions, but describes with remarkable precision the concrete spiritual criterion which enables us to answer the question whether and to what extent in this or that case we have or have not to do with the one holy catholic Church.

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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