Thursday, January 12, 2012

Christian unity as Christ's victory, and our task

Associated Baptist Press has published my opinion article "Christian Unity as Christ's Victory, and Our Task." An excerpt from the beginning of the article appears below; click on the hyperlinked title for the full text on the ABP web site.

The theme for the 2012 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18-25) is “We Will All Be Changed by the Victory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Based on First Corinthians 15: 51-58, the theme encourages Christians to seek visible unity of the church at a time when divisions seem to be worsening and apathy about those divisions increasing.

The basic premise of New Testament eschatology -- the doctrine of hope for the realization of God’s creative purposes in the victory of Christ -- is this: the reign of God that has come near in Christ is already a present reality, but it is not yet fully realized.

That’s the biblical framework for the quest to realize the unity Christ prayed for his church in John 17. Christians already possess unity in that they belong to the one body of Christ and are indwelt by one Spirit. But as the current divisions of the church attest, this unity is not yet fully realized, for its fullness is not visible. (continue reading article)

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