Ecumenism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "ecumenism" (showing 1-23 of 23)
“Surely we can only come to understand each other's beliefs by means of direct encounter and open, honest discussion. In the meantime, many free churches invite all believers in Jesus Christ to the Table for the sake of true spiritual unity that transcends intellectual differences of interpretation. Withholding sacramental sharing on the basis of disagreement about the nature of the Lord's Supper seems odd to us. What two people think exactly alike about the act? We are not offended by Catholics' closed Communion, but we find it odd and exclusive. It places intellectual understanding above fellowship among disciples of Jesus Christ.”
Roger E. Olson

Hans Küng
“The Pope would have an easier job than the President of the United States in adopting a change of course. He has no Congress alongside him as a legislative body nor a Supreme Court as a judiciary. He is absolute head of government, legislator and supreme judge in the church. If he wanted to, he could authorize contraception over night, permit the marriage of priests, make possible the ordination of women and allow eucharistic fellowship with this Protestant churches. What would a Pope do who acted in the spirit of Obama?”
Hans Küng

N.T. Wright
“At the heart of Galatians 2 is not an abstract individualized salvation, but a common meal. Paul does not want the Galatians to wait until they have agreed on all doctrinal arguments before they can sit down and eat together. Not to eat together is already to get the answer wrong. The whole point of his argument is that all those who belong to Christ belong at the same table with one another.

The relevance of this today should be obvious. The differences between us, as twentieth-century Christians, all too often reflect cultural, philosophical and tribal divides, rather than anything that should keep us apart from full and glad eucharistic fellowship. I believe the church should recognize, as a matter of biblical and Christian obedience, that it is time to put the horse back before the cart, and that we are far, far more likely to reach doctrinal agreement between our different churches if we do so within the context of that common meal which belongs equally to us all because it is the meal of the Lord whom we all worship. Intercommunion, in other words, is not something we should regard as the prize to be gained at the end of the ecumenical road; it is the very paving of the road itself. If we wonder why we haven't been travelling very fast down the road of late, maybe it's because, without the proper paving, we've got stuck in the mud.”
N.T. Wright, For All God's Worth: True Worship and the Calling of the Church

Karl Rahner
“For a Catholic understanding of the faith there is no reason why the basic concern of Evangelical Christianity as it comes to expression in the three “only's” should have no place in the Catholic Church. Accepted as basic and ultimate formulas of Christianity, they do not have to lead a person out of the Catholic Church. . . . They can call the attention of the Catholic church again and again to the fact that grace alone and faith alone really are what saves, and that with all our maneuvering through the history of dogma and the teaching office, we Catholic Christians must find our way back to the sources again and again, back to the primary origins of Holy Scripture and all the more so of the Holy Spirit.”
Karl Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Idea of Christianity

Luvvie Ajayi
“There's power in believing there's a God in each of us because if we are made in His/Her/Their image, aren't we all like good horcruxes for God? Because a piece of them is in us?”
Luvvie Ajayi, I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual

John G. Stackhouse Jr.
“Beyond the family or particular Christian tradition, how much effort do we make to consider what the Mennonites or the Episcopalians, the Baptists or the Pentecostals, the Methodists or the Presbyterians have to say to the rest of us out of their DIFFERENCES, as well as out of the affirmation in common with other Christians? As I suggested earlier, our patterns of ecumenicity tend to bracket out our differences rather than to celebrate and capitalize upon them. Finding common ground has been the necessary first step in ecumenical relations and activity. But the next step is to acknowledge and enjoy what God has done elsewhere in the Body of Christ. And if at the congregational level we are willing to say, 'I can't do everything myself, for I am an ear: I must consult with a hand or an eye on this matter,' I suggest that we do the same among whole traditions. If we do not regularly and programmatically consult with each other, we are tacitly claiming that we have no need of each other, and that all the truth, beauty, and goodness we need has been vouchsafed to us by God already. Not only is such an attitude problematic in terms of our flourishing, as I have asserted, but in this context now we must recognize how useless a picture this presents to the rest of society. Baptists, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics failing to celebrate diversity provide no positive examples to societies trying to understand how to celebrate diversity on larger scales.”
John G. Stackhouse Jr., Making the Best of It: Following Christ in the Real World

Paul Tillich
“It is most important for the practice of the Christian ministry, especially in its missionary activities toward those both within and without the Christian culture, to consider pagans, humanists, and Jews as members of the latent Spiritual Community and not as complete strangers who are invited into the Spiritual Community from outside. This insight serves as a powerful weapon against ecclesiastical and hierarchical arrogance.”
Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology 3: Life & the Spirit: History & the Kingdom of God

George Whitefield
“Most talk of a catholic spirit but it is only till they have been brought into the pale of their own church. This is downright sectarianism, not Catholicism. How can I act consistently, unless I receive and love all the children of God, whom I esteem to be such, of whatever denomination they may be?”
George Whitefield

Pope Pius XI
“There is but one way in which the unity of Christians may be fostered, and that is by furthering the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it; for far from that one true Church they have in the past fallen away. The one Church of Christ is visible to all, and will remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it.”
Pope Pius XI, On Fostering True Religious Unity: Mortalium Animos

Thomas C. Oden
“Modern ecumenism rightly began in mission, but then lapsed into a merger mentality, then defensive bureaucracy, and finally into unrepresentative forms of extreme politicization.”
Thomas C. Oden, Turning Around the Mainline: How Renewal Movements Are Changing the Church

Charles Mortimer Carty
“If there were twelve roads leading to the one goal, would it matter which you took? Since God has distinctly said that He wishes us to take one particular road — the Catholic road — it does matter. Any doctrine which begins with the fundamental notion that one religion is as good as another soon ends in the conclusion that one religion is as useless as another. And the children of those who insist upon proclaiming that principle end up, as a rule, with no religion at all.”
Charles Mortimer Carty, Radio Replies - Volumes 1-3

“My own understanding is similar to that of scholar of religion and pastor Howard Thurman. I find a profound teaching in Thurman's saying that "what is true in any religion is in the religion because it is true; it is not true because it is in the religion." Thurman's saying is true for Christian theology. If there is truth in a theology, then it is present simply because it is true, not because it is in the theology. Whether or not we can find truth in a school of thought or particular theological construction is most important, not the school of thought or particular theological construction. Therefore, I find events of truth to draw on from a diversity of theological writings, rather than locate my work in a particular school of thought. The truth we Christians seek, beyond all our words and all of our labels, is found through unity in diversity. It is the common ground we all long for. No one theology alone is capable of revealing this common ground. We require a diversity taken together, each with its distinctive gifts. Together, these various insights into Christian truth correct and inform one another. This is the gift of ecumenism.”
Karen Baker-Fletcher, Dancing with God: The Trinity from a Womanist Perspective

Rachel Held Evans
“When we require that all people must say the same words or subscribe to the same creeds in order to experience God, we underestimate the scope and power of God’s activity in the world.”
Rachel Held Evans, Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions

Louis Bouyer
“Is anything more needed to convince Catholics that the sola gratia, as generally understood among Protestants, in the sense we have seen that they give it, is perfectly in accord with Catholic tradition? And those Protestants who see, in the passage we first quoted, the very heart of their faith and life as Christians, can they seriously question that the Church does justice to all that is essential and positive in their "protestation," once they have read these other texts?

-The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism, 1956”
Louis Bouyer, The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism

“This is a paradox of Whitefield's legacy: evangelicalism draws people of different churches while dividing those within the same denomination.”
Melanie Ross, Evangelical versus Liturgical?: Defying a Dichotomy

Gore Vidal
“The failure of Hellenism has been, largely, a matter of organization. Rome never tried to impose any sort of worship upon the countries it conquered and civilized; in fact, quite the contrary, Rome was eclectic. All religions were given an equal opportunity and even Isis—after some resistance—was worshipped at Rome. As a result we have a hundred important gods and a dozen mysteries. Certain rites are—or were—supported by the state because they involved the genius of Rome. But no attempt was ever made to coordinate the worship of Zeus on the Capitol with, let us say, the Vestals who kept the sacred fire in the old forum. As time passed our rites became, and one must admit it bluntly, merely form, a reassuring reminder of the great age of the city, a token gesture to the old gods who were thought to have founded and guided Rome from a village by the Tiber to world empire. Yet from the beginning, there were always those who mocked. A senator of the old Republic once asked an auger how he was able to get through a ceremony of divination without laughing. I am not so light-minded, though I concede that many of our rites have lost their meaning over the centuries; witness those temples at Rome where certain verses learned by rote are chanted year in and year out, yet no one, including the priests, knows what they mean, for they are in the early language of the Etruscans, long since forgotten.

As the religious forms of the state became more and more rigid and perfunctory, the people were drawn to the mystery cults, many of them Asiatic in origin. At Eleusis or in the various caves of Mithras, they were able to get a vision of what this life can be, as well as a foretaste of the one that follows. There are, then, three sorts of religious experiences. The ancient rites, which are essentially propitiatory. The mysteries, which purge the soul and allow us to glimpse eternity. And philosophy, which attempts to define not only the material world but to suggest practical ways to the good life, as well as attempting to synthesize (as Iamblichos does so beautifully) all true religion in a single comprehensive system.”
Gore Vidal, Julian

Kevin J. Vanhoozer
“It is well known that Pentecost reverses Babel. The people who built the tower of Babel sought to make a name, and a unity, for themselves. At Pentecost, God builds his temple, uniting people in Christ. Unity – interpretive agreement and mutual understanding – is, it would appear, something that only God can accomplish. And accomplish it he does, but not in the way we might have expected. Although onlookers thought that the believers who received the Spirit at Pentecost were babbling (Acts 2:13), in fact they were speaking intelligibly in several languages (Acts 2:8-11). Note well: they were all saying the same thing (testifying about Jesus) in different languages. It takes a thousand tongues to say and sing our great Redeemer’s praise.

Protestant evangelicalism evidences a Pentecostal plurality: the various Protestant streams testify to Jesus in their own vocabularies, and it takes many languages (i.e. interpretive traditions) to minister the meaning of God’s Word and the fullness of Christ. As the body is made up of many members, so many interpretations may be needed to do justice to the body of the biblical text. Why else are there four Gospels, but that the one story of Jesus was too rich to be told from one perspective only? Could it be that the various Protestant traditions function similarly as witnesses who testify to the same Jesus from different situations and perspectives?”
Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Biblical Authority After Babel: Retrieving the Solas in the Spirit of Mere Protestant Christianity

John G. Stackhouse Jr.
“My recommendation instead, however, is that we do not surrender questions of value, whether absolute matters of truth, goodness, and beauty or relative judgment of more or less truth, goodness, and beauty. With those questions to the fore, in fact, we can interrogate various other traditions and truly learn something that can improve our own. Perhaps the Presbyterians really do know more than we do about due process in church government. Perhaps the Orthodox really do know some things we do not about iconography. Perhaps the Mennonites really can teach us the meaning of 'enough.' Perhaps the Pentecostals can help liberate us from dull and disembodied worship. Baptists who have learned to improve their procedures from Presbyterians, their art from the Orthodox, their finances from the Mennonites, and their worship from the Pentecostals do not therefore become worse Baptists but better ones. And so around the ecumenical circle, no?”
John G. Stackhouse Jr., Making the Best of It: Following Christ in the Real World

Namsoon Kang
“Whenever one comes to the the table for interreligous dialogue, there is what I would call an _ecumenical taboo_ that one has to comply with. The ecumenical taboo_ does not exist in a written document, but people tend to practice it around the dialogue table. One should not raise, for instance, such questions as gender justice, sexual orientation issues, religious constructions of the other, multiple forms of violence in a religious community, or religious cooperation with neo/imperialism. each religion has its own _history of sin_ that has justified and perpetuated oppression and exclusion of certain groups of people through its own religious teaching, doctrine, and practice. In order to be _nice_ and _tolerant_ to one another, interreligious dialogue has not challenged the fundamental issues of injustice that a particular religion has practiced, justified, and perpetuated in various ways. I do not disregard that most ecumenists have based interreligious dialogue on a politics of tolerance, and this has played a significant role in easing the antagonism between religions, at least among the leaders of established religions. However, we should ground an authentic ecumenism and theology of religion in a _politics of affirmation and transformation, rather than a politics of tolerance_.”
Namsoon Kang, Cosmopolitan Theology: Reconstituting Planetary Hospitality, Neighbor-Love, and Solidarity in an Uneven World

“Today, most believers are segregated and isolated in their church or in their home. If believers accept Paul's directive to seek out other believers and greet them, the Lord will have a way to build up the assembly, His body. Although there are so many churches and Christian groups today, believers can still heed Paul's command to go and greet fellow believers in other groups. In God's eyes all of His children are in one family, in the one body of Christ. As such, believers should not acknowledge any division.”
Henry Hon, ONE: Unfolding God's Eternal Purpose from House to House

John Davenant
“The Church pleaseth it selfe too much which scorns and disdaines other Churches, as unworthy of her Communion, for some weakness in their understanding, which are found guilty neither of Tyranny, Idolatry, nor any deadly Heresie.”
John Davenant

John Davenant
“Moreover it were to be wished, that those surnames of Lutherans, Zwinglians, Calvinists, were packt away and utterly abolished, which are rather the Ensignes of faction, than badges of Brotherly Union, and which never pleased the ancient Fathers.”
John Davenant

John Davenant
“If a civill and outward Peace is to be kept with so great desire betwixt all men, without doubt, the Spirituall and Ecclesiasticall Communion betwixt Christians, is to be procured and cherished with farre greater Endeavours.”
John Davenant