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WikiProject Christianity / Theology (Rated Start-class, Top-importance)
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WikiProject Religion (Rated Start-class, Top-importance)
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I realize it's not required, but I thought it would be nice to state my intention to get heavily involved in this article and make it great. I've been a Wikipedia reader for awhile, but I just registered and made my first few minor edits in the past week. When I came across this article and its "needs attention" box, I decided it was a great place to get more involved. For the last few days, I've been reading the various how-to articles about writing, editing, style, etc. I've also gathered research from scholaraly journals and begun writing some missing sections which I'll start posting today. I have just realized in the past hour that it's going to take some time for me to figure out the best method of citation. That's more complicated than I thought it would be. For now, I'm going to try to cite inline and work toward changing those later.DaniU 19:57, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

By all means go ahead. This page is a kludge, put up more or less as a directory; there are plenty of other articles where issues related to ecclesiology are discussed, more or less in a scattershot way, sometimes in great detail and limited scope. This served to point folks in their direction, and as a proposed outline for future work. Smerdis of Tlön 20:07, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Instrument of salvation[edit]

The article should maybe explain what the expression instrument of salvation means when talking about the Church. If possible, a stub article could be created. ADM (talk) 18:29, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Ecclesiological relativism[edit]

Another thing that would need to be included is the notion of ecclesiological relativism, something which has been denounced by some Churchmen under the guise of branch theory and ecclesiology of communion. [1] ADM (talk) 09:04, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Answering the questions in Ecclesiology[edit]

  • Who is the Church?

An appreciation of who the church is starts out from the observation of a visible group of people who gather together in a certain place to worship Jesus and extends to see the relationship of this group of people to people elsewhere who also gather together to worship Jesus. The Church is thus an interpersonal community related to the very person of Jesus Christ.

  • Must one join a church?

As soon as someone has fellowship with someone else he can be said to be in a Church as the original meaning of Church is derived from assembly.

  • What is the authority of the Church?

Jesus Christ is the authority of the Church as he is the head of the Church. Rebellion against Jesus Christ can take the form of rebelling to one's superiors in the natural order.

  • What does the Church do?

The Church is a community that worships.

  • What are the sacraments, divine ordinances, and liturgies, in the context of the Church, and are they part of the Church's mission to preach the Gospel?

They are means of worship and channels of grace available through the Church and in relationship with the Gospel.

  • What is the comparative emphasis and relationship between worship service, spiritual formation, and mission, and is the Church's role to create disciples of Christ or some other function? Is the Eucharist the defining element of the rest of the sacramental system and the Church itself, or is it secondary to the act of preaching? Is the Church to be understood as the vehicle for salvation, or the salvific presence in the world, or as a community of those already "saved?"

The Eucharist is the source and summit of Church life. The Church is to be understood as the salvific presence in the world because salvation is promised by Jesus to the Church. Salvation is an ongoing process where the 'ready but not yet' model of viewing it has to be kept in mind.

  • How should the Church be governed? What was the mission and authority of the Apostles, and is this handed down through the sacraments today? What are the proper methods of choosing clergy such as bishops and priests, and what is their role within the context of the Church? Is an ordained clergy necessary? Who are the leaders of a church? Must there be a policy-making board of "leaders" within a church and what are the qualifications for this position, and by what process do these members become official, ordained "leaders"? Must leaders and clergy be "ordained," and is this possible only by those who have been ordained by others?
  • What are the roles of 'spiritual gifts' in the life of the church?

Spiritual gifts, or Chraisms so much discussed in Pauline epistles underline the ministerial aspect of the Church.

  • How does the Church's New Covenant relate to the covenants expressed in scripture with God's chosen people, the Jewish people?
  • What is the ultimate destiny of the Church in Christian eschatology?

The ultimate destiny of the Church is full communion with Christ in the afterlife in heaven.

Alan347 (talk) 09:06, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Chronological Confusion[edit]

Can someone clarify for me (and if need be, in the article?)

The introductory statement of the article contains, "However, when the word was coined in England in the late 1830s, it was defined as the science of the building and decoration of church buildings and it is still, though rarely, used in this sense."

Below in the Etymology section: Its first appearance in print, as ecclesialogy, was in the quarterly journal The British Critic in 1837 and then However in volume 4 of the Cambridge Camden Society's journal The Ecclesiologist, published in January 1845 that society (the CCS) claimed that they had invented the word ecclesiology and The Ecclesiologist was first published in October 1841 and dealt with the study of the building and decoration

Alister aside, the article seems to state "Late 1830s - coined - building and decoration", "Late 1830s (1837) - first appearance in print - study of church", then "Jan 1845 and not possibly earlier than Oct 1841 - claims of coining - building and decoration".

How does one resolve that the given timeline points (if comprehensive) don't support the introductory statement? Does the 1841 article claim that they had been using the term internally previous to their first publishing?


Thistledowne (talk) 19:19, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Well spotted. Now fixed.  —SMALLJIM  20:27, 16 July 2013 (UTC)