Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What makes church, church?

Ceryn says:
Church is exciting

And Chris Green blogs this:

I don't know if anyone else has spotted this, but there's a fascinating confusion in the CofE's report 'Mission Shaped Church', which might explain why some odd expressions of church get included. On p. 96 it attempts an ecclesiology, and says, The four classic marks of the Church, enshrined in the Nicene creed, as 'one, holy, catholic and apostolic', remind the Church of its true nature and calling...

It then gives a brief summary of each of them, and goes off into more Anglican territory with Episcopacy, and so on. BUT... these aren't the 'marks' of the church.
The marks of the church are described in the 39 Articles in classic Reformed style as 'a congregation of godly (people) where the word of God is preached and the sacraments duly administered'. That is, they describe the church observably, in its activities.
(On the old Reformed question about discipline as a mark, with a typical Anglican shimmy the Articles don't include it but the Book of Homilies does)
What makes church, church?