This summer I enjoyed reading Jürgen Moltmann's autobiography A Broad Place. Moltmann too is a theologian who in his own way has sought to do theology "in, with, and for the church":
"Because I did not grow up in a church, the church was not for me a matter of course. As pastor, too, I tried to answer the question, What is the church, and what is it there for?" (p. 202).
I was especially interested in a section in which Moltmann recounts and reflects on his involvement in the ecumenical movement as a member of the World Council of Churches Commission on Faith and Order from 1963 to 1983. Moltmann's musings lend support to the recent calls of some ecumenists for a "re-confessionalizing" of ecumenical encounter as a somewhat counterintuitive way forward:
"[T]he ecumenical unity of the many churches is not effected by way of bi-lateral or multi-lateral negotiations but rather when every church traces its own tradition back to its foundations, and in those foundations finds the traditio dei, which is common to all....Yet this advice to return ad fontes, though theologically correct, naturally often means that in one's own church one swims against the tide" (p. 86).
"The programme of 'reconciled difference'...became the sleeping pill of the ecumenical movement. We all stay as we are and are nice to each other" (p. 86).
"The outcome of my ecumenical participation, as I willingly confess, is this: my origin is Reformed--my future is ecumenical!" (p. 87).