By Michael Kinnamon
during this publication Michael Kinnamon argues that the ecumenical circulation, which has given such strength and path to the church, has to be reconceived in a manner that offers renewing strength for the church during this period — and he indicates how this may occur. He names the issues with ecumenism, identifies strengths and accomplishments upon which the church now can construct, and indicates useful, concrete steps we will be able to take up the course of revitalization, particularly on the neighborhood level.
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Additional info for Can a Renewal Movement Be Renewed?: Questions for the Future of Ecumenism
Will that truly make a lot of a distinction? A extra profound cause of lowered ecumenical ardour has to do with the postmodern emphasis on particularity. The spirit of this age implies that, for plenty of in our tradition, solidarity is at most sensible the tolerant acknowledgement of multiplicity (as if variety had any actual that means except its placement in a better entire! ). within the phrases of recent York occasions faith columnist Peter Steinfels, “What used to be the scandal of department now seems to be extra just like the advantage of range. ”4 a primary instance is the United Church of Christ (UCC), which, regardless of having John 17 (“that all can be one”) on its emblem, now exalts a multicultural id on its web site, whereas burying its historical main issue for Christian team spirit within the final paragraph of either its assertion of venture and assertion of dedication for the twenty-first century. five Please don’t misunderstand me. I rejoice the truth that, in our period, populations which have been excluded from the lifestyles or, at the least, the choice making of the church now have a favorite position. yet I lament the truth that, for no matter what purposes, the dedication to solidarity in Christ has waned between leaders of the UCC and different denominations. 2. Divisions and different indicators of weak spot in the ecumenically supportive church buildings. this may be a subset of the former element, yet i believe it warrants extra centred cognizance. The mainline church buildings — church buildings which were the pillars of ecumenical firms and dialogues — have evidently undergone a interval of hectic transition. during the last part century, leaders of those denominations have suffered via a gradual decline of numbers, assets, and cultural effect; and now they're confronted with inner divisions over questions of human sexuality. So it truly is troubling, yet now not outstanding, that mainline Protestants appear content material with occasional cooperation, that they're much less keen to threat new ecumenical ventures, and that we're witnessing a renewed specialize in denominational identification. “The looming query for lots of . . . denominations,” writes Steinfels, “is not no matter if doctrinal limitations are too absolute and specific, yet no matter if those teams can outline and keep any clear-cut identification in any respect. ”6 there's not anything improper, in fact, with eager to supply and obtain the designated riches of our ecclesial heritages for the sake of establishing up the only physique; yet there's a bargain mistaken, definitely unscriptural, with emphasizing our church’s particularity on the way to beat the contest. i latterly spoke to an meeting of 1 of the meetings of a mainline denomination for which the meeting topic used to be “Transforming the realm via Being United in Christ. ” there has been, although, completely no point out of selling cohesion with different church buildings within the conference’s imaginative and prescient assertion, project assertion, or assertion of pursuits and activities; no connection with doing undertaking ecumenically in a foreign country within the meeting fabrics; no connection with ecumenical engagement in its lists of standards for clergy and congregational excellence; and no report back to the meeting from the church’s complete communion companions or from the country and nationwide councils of church buildings.