catholicity

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rmwilliamsjr

Puritan Board Freshman
I've been working on the early 19thC and Presbyterian history for a Sunday School class. The issue i want to concentrate on is the rise of denominationalism, of extra-eccelesiastical institutions and how the Old School reacted to them. I found a really good resource in a Phd thesis at:
http://www.peterwallace.org/dissertation/3catholicity.htm
which is pointing the way towards a change in how the church thought about catholicity. I'm looking for more information and perhaps if someone who has looked carefully at the associated ideas can help with some images to share in the class to show this change.

tia.

here is one of the key ideas.


from: http://www.peterwallace.org/dissertation/1division.htm
New School advocates claimed that the catholicity of the visible church was replaced by the Old School with a narrow sectarianism that focused on the institutional church. Indeed, this was the question: does the catholicity of the visible church simply mean unity among individual Christians in missionary and reform efforts across denominational boundaries (the New School vision)? Or does it mean cordial relations among denominations while each pursues its own missionary efforts in different regions (the Old School vision)?
Of course, to ask the question in this fashion is to reveal the fact that the older concept of the catholicity of the visible church was already dead. It was impossible for antebellum Presbyterians to affirm the older vision of the church, because they no longer believed in that older idea that each region should have only one church. The idea of "œcatholicity" had been redefined: the New School grounded the concept of catholicity in the invisible church (harmony between individual Christians), while the Old School emphasized the visible church (harmony between denominations)
...
But while the Old School sought to convince the moderates of the immediate dangers, they could not allow what they considered grave errors to continue unchecked. Since Old School Presbyterians were convinced that the New England doctrines departed significantly from the church´s Confession, they charged some of the New School leaders with heresy in the church courts. There was no attempt to go after every "œheretic." Instead Old School Presbyterians targeted the leaders. The idea was that those who were not influential were not seen as a threat. Here we see an assumption of the older idea of catholicity and conscience: if the church draws a clear boundary in the case of an influential heretic, those who may sympathize with his views will feel constrained to bring their practice into line with the common conscience of the church. They saw no need to prosecute every one with erroneous doctrine. The issue was the general direction of the church"“isolated exceptions were not a problem so long as they did not stir up controversy. Hence the targets of heresy charges were invariably either professors or pastors who published their views.
 

Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
I have not read these books, but they are on my reading list as addressing denominationalism:

Sidney Mead, The Lively Experiment: The Shaping of Christianity in America
(New York: Harper & Row 1963)

Russell E. Richey, ed., Denominationalism (Nashville: Abingdon, 1977)
 

rmwilliamsjr

Puritan Board Freshman
i've heard of Mead's book, found this review online:
http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/unitarians/mead.html

i found:
Reimagining denominationalism : interpretive essays
by richey.
and this review
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_n35_v111/ai_15974915#continue

and this review of Denominationalism
http://www.newbigin.net/searches/online_texts.cfm?offset=76
down 6 links, the link itself is a javascript to the paper.

thanks for the pointers.

[Edited on 6-27-2005 by rmwilliamsjr]
 

Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
Richard: BTW, thanks for the link to the dissertation. It looks good and I lok forward to reading the portions you identified. Keep us posted on what research you do. I would like to know what you find.
 

rmwilliamsjr

Puritan Board Freshman
i have:

A Sixth Sola?

By John R. Muether

Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus.

from modern reformation to pass out to the class next Sunday. I wrote and received his permission to reprint it. Unfortunately it is not online anywhere, anymore, including google's cache.
the original URL was:
http://www.modernreformation.org/mr98/julaug/mr9804sixth.html

is anyone aware of a copy of this online?
note: found it. at: http://www.covenant.net/articles/sixthsola.htm

or another essay on the topic-outside of the church there is no (ordinary) salvation?

tia.

[Edited on 6-27-2005 by rmwilliamsjr]
 
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