THE MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE CHURCH by Emil Brunner

THE MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE CHURCH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The noted Swiss theologian addresses himself in this volume to a question which lies at the heart of much of the current discussion of church unity. He asserts that at the heart of Protestantism and in the ecumenical movement there is a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the Church. He feels that there has been a failure to distinguish between the Church and the churches. The Church, the ecclesia of the New Testament, is a community of persons, a fellowship of believers. The institutions which we call churches have built up over 2000 years the shell in which this precious kernel has been contained and preserved. But these churches have also proven to be at times an obstacle to the true Christian fellowship of the Church. ""Not the bestility of the unbelieving world, but clerical parsonic lesasticism has over been the greatest enemy of the Christian message and of brotherhood rooted in Christ"", he maintains. Accordingly the union of the churches as ecclesiastical organizations is not the proper goal of the ecumenical movement. Rather we should be striving for a fundamental unity of the Christ-community. This is a book for theologians and for others who are interested in the ecumenical movement, for it goes to the heart of the problem of church unity.

Pub Date: March 16th, 1953
Publisher: Westminster Press