Our Latest Photos

Dreams Bliss Heather Mill Extra Virgin Calanque Old Desert Gull Mediterranean Forest of Masts Little Bird Wind Blown

View Our Entire Photostream

You Are Here: Theology > The Princeton Proposal for Christian Unity

The Princeton Proposal for Christian Unity

Recent schemes for Christian unity are less grandiose and more practical than earlier on in the movement. It’s been recognized that you can’t just create church unity by fiat. There’s a tremendous amount of groundwork to be laid first.

One such scheme is the Princeton Proposal for Christian Unity. It’s the work of 16 theologians from the whole range of Christian churches meeting over the course of 3 years. Their final text, In One Body through the Cross, analyzes some of the causes of division and offers some practical advice to start knitting the churches back together in doctrine and practice before institutional merger is even contemplated.

Here are some of their suggestions:

“First, churches should routinely include theologians from other traditions in doctrinal commissions and consultations. Second, official statements by churches should always be formulated for the widest possible Christian audience. Third, educational institutions that serve denominations should hire and encourage scholars who will teach in ways that serve the whole church.” §49

“Opportunites for coordinated witness and service should be affirmed and expanded. Missionary strategies should be developed across denominational lines, so that church growth is not accomplished by sheep-stealing but rather by evangelization of the baptized and re-evangelization of the lapsed. Protestant missionaries to historically Roman Catholic and Orthodox societies must be able to articulate the ways in which their work builds up the whole church in those places. Joint social and political action must be continually consecrated in common prayer.” §52

“Against the present lack of reciprocity of membership and ministry, we urge the following steps. We envision two very different situations: where agreements of full communion are in place, and where full communion does not exist. In the first instance, church leaders in each place should work to implement existing agreements. In order to promote common mission, lay members should be encouraged to worship and serve in congregations in partner denominations. Among ordained clergy, churches should identify a ministry of unity, and seminary training should intentionally prepare ministers to serve in partner churches. In the second instance, where theological reciprocity of membership and ministry exists, congregations of separated Christians should pray for one another. When baptism is mutually recognized, this should be plain in the manner of its administration. The ecumenical vocation of married couples from separated communions should be acknowledged and supported by the churches. When full communion does not exist, churches should acknowledge and encourage special vocations for the sake of unity. God may call lay and ordained members of one church to sustained participation in the life and mission of separated churches, even if sacramental communion is not possible for a time. Such vocations do not deny real theological differences or disrespect canonical order but rather are a call to endure separation as a discipline which sharpens passion for unity. Such sacrifice is perhaps possible only for a few, and it will certainly take many forms, often partial and hidden. The churches should seek to identify and champion these vocations as a gift of the Holy Spirit to the divided churches.” §55

Be Sociable, Share!

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Us!

Facebook Twitter RSS Feed Email

Facebook Fans...



    Switzerland Anabaptist Zapfendorf Augustine Mennonite Protestant patience St. Augustine House Coburg Bible Bregenz predestination Joint Declaration Biel spirituality charismatic Oettingen Sweden Babylonian Captivity Christ God Bach Leuenberg Agreement Reformation nature of God Australia amen consensus Freedom of a Christian Pentecostal Lutheran monks Ten Commandments monk sanctification Augsburg College Commentary on the Magnificat Gutenberg dialogue spiritual ecumenism Creeds Robert Louis Stevenson truth and love differentiated consensus Germany Erfurt John Wesley saints conversion 95 theses Franciscan Baroque mystics worship Florence Ulm Rhine Volker Leppin Catholic ecumenism Chiavenna Lazio Cardinal Kasper righteousness Jews Thomas Aquinas Augustinian post-pilgrimage Mortalium Animos anti-Judaism penance Vorarlberg World Council of Churches Dante Strasbourg St. James St. Paul Friar Kempten martyr Staupitz unity good works change Liguria Methodist grace rain Advent miracle Emilia-Romagna communion Tuscany forgiveness translation Johannes Tauler baptism Edinburgh Missionary Conference Small Catechism Bamberg mysticism memmingen freedom Bernard of Clairvaux spiritual disciplines gift Large Catechism Lombardy Apennines walk marriage language Milan Eisfeld church Holy Spirit pilgrimage Dominican Benedictine word Reformed Alps Italy Mary Allgäu Renaissance Lent Kilian McDonnell university Orthodox Vatican 2 Calvin Via Francigena Bavaria Otto Hermann Pesch canal convergence Austria Heidelberg Disputation 8th commandment relics Luther fasting theology of the cross cities misunderstanding Scripture Ambrose Vierzehnheiligen Finland ecumenical concepts St. Augustine eucharist Lutheran World Federation monasticism Neresheim St. Peter Henri de Lubac promise sacraments Melanchthon justification Roanoke Institute for Ecumenical Research Wittenberg Augsburg Confession marble faith Mediterranean liturgy Liechtenstein Geneva Vaduz Rome hiking Nördlingen vernacular One Mediator Saints and Mary Baptism Eucharist and Ministry reception specialization Siena German Martin Luther Witness to Jesus Christ Lutheran Rick Steves law and gospel mediator church-dividing mission different traditions Confessions honesty Unitatis Redintegratio Apology to the Augsburg Confession Nuremberg Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Santiago de Compostela love anti-Semitism prayer

    Brought to you by...