Christian Assembly : Marks of the Church in a Pluralistic Age

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-03-01
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress Pub
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What is "church"? What makes the church one? While these questions may seem innocuous, church has become conflicted territory recently, with internal factions, external pressures, and ecumenical turmoil all calling for a more positive, studier, more resilient notion of Christian community. Wengert approaches the questions as a Reformation historian. He shows how the New Testament notion of "marks" of the church was taken up by Luther and developed by Melanchthon not as descriptive tag but as a criterion for authenticity in Christian community. Lathrop, the liturgical theologian, shows concretely how those marks can stamp the worship life of a congregation as well as the evaluative work of congregations with their pastors, bishops, superintendents, and conference ministers. Only with a sturdy sense of their own identity--as a holy people, grounded in common practices and commitments--can Christian assemblies truly engage and even transform today's cultural context. This volume originated as six lectures jointly presented to the Academy of Bishops of the ELCA in

Author Biography

Gordon W. Lathrop is Charles A. Schieren Professor of Liturgy at Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

Table of Contents

Abbreviations ix
Preface xi
Part One: Marks
1. Church Is Assembly
2. A Brief History of the Marks of the Church
3. The Marks of the Church in the Liturgy
4. The Marks of the Church in The Book of Concord
5. The Marks of the Church in the Later Luther
6. The Marks of the Church as a Theme for the Visitation of Parishes
Part Two: Mutual Conversation 135(12)
7. The Liturgist Reads the Historian
8. The Historian Reads the Liturgist
Appendix 1: The Promotion Disputation of Johann Macchäbaus of Scotland 147(6)
Appendix 2: Excerpts from Martin Luther's Sermon on Matthew 3:13-17 153(6)
Notes 159(18)
Index 177

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