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Three Ways of Being Church

Rees, Frank D. (2005) Three Ways of Being Church. International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church, 5 (1). pp. 41-57. ISSN 1474-225X

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This article proposes a theological re-appraisal of three images of the Church: institution, servant and community. The defining characteristics of an institution can be applied positively to the Church when it is seen to have been instituted by Jesus Christ. But what is instituted is a continuting relationship grounded in Christ's own presence. The servant Church is characterized by its commitment to the purposes of God in 'secular' society and the promise of God's kingdom. The community model of the Church has two common expressions, one emphasizing social relationships, one stressing mystical communion, but these are grounded in the trinitarian community itself. While each model has its own contribution and integrity, taken together they suggest mutual inter-dependence, itself reflecting the divine community and expressed in the mutually affirming virtues of faith, hope and love.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: Church as an institution, servant Church, Church community, Spiritual community, Richard McBrien
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950404 Religion and Society
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: C - Systematic Theology
College/Association with University of Divinity: Whitley College
Depositing User: Cate Headey
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2010 22:28
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2012 04:13
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/343

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