THE SOCIAL SOURCES OF CHURCH UNITY by Robert Lee

THE SOCIAL SOURCES OF CHURCH UNITY

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

On p. 302 we reviewed Paul G. Macy's If It Be of God, which was the story of the World Council of Churches (Bethany Press- $4.00). Now come two other books closely linked to the subject:- this one which is subtitled An Interpretation of Unitive Movements in American Protestantism, and even more closely Stephen Charles Neill's Brothers of The Faith, reviewed below.....Every thinking Christian who has known the ferment of the drive toward Christian unity will find this a challenging, helpful and unique work. The author takes up the neglected side of the ecumenical movement, especially as it is working out in the United States. Too often the drive toward reunion has been considered a theological problem, or one that waited only for the solution of organizational and administrative difficulties. Without denying the validity of this approach, Robert Lee concerns himself with the social and cultural factors which must be faced in the search for wholeness. He also paints with clear strokes the actual fact of the great progress that has been made in the uniting Churches of the U.S.A., and the tremendous contribution which these social and cultural factors have made toward these unitive movements. Robert Lee is far from claiming that these factors are solely or even predominantly determinative. But he does establish his point, and backs his thesis with plausible statistics. Church union has occurred despite appalling theological problems when the social factors have been right. Nor can it be denied that the disintegrative process of sectarianism had roots in a society which was itself falling apart. This book, therefore, is of interest to a very wide group of people: ecumenically minded Christians, sociologists, students of political science, and concerned people who might only want to know how to keep unity within a single parish. Since the writing is facile and generally non-technical this broad appeal is enhanced by the presentation.

Pub Date: May 9th, 1960
Publisher: Abingdon Press