The Church Event: Call and Challenge of a Church Protestant
Often nowadays one hears affirmations of spirituality and even religious life but rarely of institutional religion. Is the church dying?
Noted theologian Vìtor Westhelle urges an emphatic no and traces the church crisis to an "ecclesiological deficit," a lack of serious reflection on the real role of church as an ideal community and an institutional reality. He finds real consensus among the Reformers on what church should mean, and he traces the competing historical notions of church, their relations to the sources of Protestant religious conviction, and the gradual erosion of a sense for what it is the church actually "represents."
Westhelle advances a new model of church, grounded in Trinitarian thought, social anthropology, and biblical reflection. He then shows how this notion of church well positions Christian communities to deal with the public sphere, religious pluralism, globalization, and communal prayer. In doing so, Westhelle claims a space for Protestant Christianity in today's world.
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