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The Joint Declaration: a Faith and Order perspective.

The North American Academy of Ecumenists, since its foundation, has been an important forum for the discussion of the issues confronting the churches as they seek to manifest more visibly the unity of the church. Through critical analysis of the trends, values, and reports of national and international bilateral dialogues, the Academy offers to the churches and the ecumenical movement significant insights that aid their further work and reflection. Since the membership of the Academy includes those who are involved in ecumenical teaching and research, as well as those who have responsibility for ecumenical leadership in churches and councils of churches, a central feature of the N.A.A.E.'s contribution lies in the preservation and transmission of the ecumenical memory. Through this it is able to offer valuable perspectives for the development and coherence of the ecumenical agenda. Many members of the Faith and Order Commission have benefitted from the Academy from the beginning of its existence. Therefore, I value the opportunity to participate in these discussions and to express gratitude for the work of the N.A.A.E., which contributes to our deliberations in Faith and Order.

The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, which was signed in Augsburg on Reformation Day, 1999, is a significant achievement. It brings to completion a long process of dialogue and affirms that the condemnations, which marked the separation and alienation of communities, no longer apply on the basis of a contemporary common understanding of a central doctrine of the Christian faith. The doctrine of justification, since the time of the Reformation, had functioned not simply as a theological differentiation between communities but also as a flag of identity. Now the opportunity is presented for the communities to seek ways of no longer defining themselves over and against each other.

In December, 2000, an important discussion between the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Edward Cardinal Cassidy took place in Louisville. In the course of his presentation on "The Catholic Church and Ecumenism at the Beginning of the 21st Century," Cassidy asked whether it would be possible to find a way in which the Reformed and others might join Lutherans and Catholics in affirming a basic consensus on the doctrine of justification. (1) The suggestion arose in light of his account of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification and of the agreement that was evident in the subsection on "Justification by Grace through Faith in the Common Confession of Faith," which had formed part of Towards a Common Understanding of the Church (1990), the dialogue report of the Roman Catholic Church and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC).(2) It seemed to him that there could be a basic consensus achieved arising out of these two reports.

This proposal was reiterated by Bishop (now Cardinal) Walter Kasper on a visit to the World Council of Churches headquarters in Geneva on February 1, 2001, when he said: "It would now be a case of examining how far the differentiated consensus worked out with the Lutherans could be extended to other Reformation churches and so broaden the basis of consensus." (3)

A response to this proposal was evident in the report to the P.C. (U.S.A.) General Assembly Council when Anne Case Winters spoke of the possibility of reaching differentiated consensus on key doctrinal matters with the Roman Catholic Church, presumably alluding to justification by faith as one of these issues. (4) Such a proposal had already been made at the World Methodist Council Executive Meeting in Hong Kong (September, 1999) when it resolved that "exploration be undertaken of a possible tripartite consultation between Methodists, Lutherans and Catholics concerning the best use to be made of the Joint Declaration in so far as it may have favourable consequences for others, including Methodists"--a proposal that was transmitted to the Lutheran World Federation Council meeting in Turku in the greetings of Ralph Young on behalf of the W.M.C. (5) In making this suggestion, the W.M.C. was conscious of the number of situations where Methodist churches are in fellowship of word and table with Lutherans.

To further the discussion, therefore, the Lutheran World Federation and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity invited the W.M.C. and the WARC to a meeting in Columbus, Ohio, in November, 2001, "to explore in what specific ways other Christian World Communions, who are so interested, could formally adhere to the agreements reached in the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification." The invitation to the Consultation made clear that there was no intention of renegotiating the agreement reached in the Joint Declaration. Rather, the invitation was to explore how far a basic consensus has been achieved that could embrace more than the original partners in dialogue. What additional points would need to be made to incorporate Reformed and Methodist understandings? What are the perceptions on the reception regionally among the four constituencies of the Joint Declaration?

A major question of importance for the wider ecumenical agenda emerges from these initiatives. Is it possible for the report of a bilateral dialogue to become the basis for a multilateral dialogue? There seem to be no precedents in the sphere of international bilateral dialogues. At most, there has been a tripartite conversation on an issue of pastoral concern, when a Roman Catholic-Lutheran-Reformed dialogue focused on the issue of interchurch marriages, (6) and a recent consultation by the same partners on the understanding of indulgences. At a regional level, there have been some situations in which churches of confessional traditions other than the original negotiating parties have, after negotiation, decided to adhere to the agreement at a later date. This has been evident in the action of the Methodist churches in relation to the Leuenberg Agreement. In a similar way, discussions are now taking place between the Leuenberg community and Baptist churches. In the case of this European development, however , the Leuenberg Agreement is more than a statement of theological consensus--though it is also that. It is an agreement outlining changed relationships between churches on the basis of a theological consensus on justification by faith. However, the Leuenberg Agreement has a different character from the process proposed in the recent initiatives of the L.W.F. and the P.C.P.C.U. and the process of subsequent accession to it by members of different confessional traditions. It does not, therefore, provide a precedent for the proposal of accession to the Joint Declaration.

In seeking to extend the number of confessional traditions that might adhere to the Joint Declaration on Justification, one of the undoubted motives is to explore and express consistency and coherence among a variety of bilateral-dialogue partners who have reached agreement on the doctrine of justification. A complex web has emerged wherein churches that emerged from the Reformation have expressed their agreement in a variety of bilateral dialogues with each other on this topic, and each has separately reached an agreement with the Roman Catholic Church in which this topic has played a part. It would certainly be helpful if the consistency of these various bilateral agreements with each other were tested. The Columbus consultation could certainly assist in that. Nevertheless, the onus on demonstrating the consistency and coherence of the Joint Declaration on Justification by Faith with other agreements on this topic in which the Roman Catholic and Lutheran communities have been involved must primarily reside with these communities. A primary task for Lutherans and Roman Catholics is to show the measure of consistency with the other bilateral statements to which they have been parties.

Undoubtedly, one of the factors of which the participants in the Columbus meeting would need to be conscious is the different understanding of the nature and function of the Christian World Communions involved in the discussions.

The Joint Declaration was signed by a Church and by a Communion of Churches on the basis of a process whereby the majority of its member churches had expressed agreement. Each Christian World Communion has its own character. Unlike the L.W.F., which is a community of churches centered on the Augsburg Confession, WARC, for example, emphasizes that the Reformed tradition "is a biblical, evangelical, doctrinal ethos, rather than any narrow and exclusive definition of faith and order." (7) The Christian World Communions, even those whose members emerged from the Reformation, are asymmetrical, and this will have a bearing on how far the different Christian World Communions can accede to the Joint Declaration.

The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification was the result of a long and complex process of discussion between two Christian traditions, which had basically defined themselves over and against each other largely on the basis of this doctrine. The International Commission was able to draw on two substantial agreements produced in dialogues between the partners in the United States and in Germany (8) and on a number of consultations focused on the significance of those agreements. Bilateral dialogues by their very nature address the specific points that have been at issue between the partners from the time of their breaking apart. The issues to be addressed are specific to the traditions concerned. While other traditions may also find a resonance with the issue under discussion, the doctrine may not function in the same way in the understanding of their traditions. Thus, when Cassidy invited the Reformed churches to join the Joint Declaration process and drew attention to the agreement in the common confession of faith between the Reformed churches and the Roman Catholic Church on "justification by grace, through faith," he did not note that this subsection followed the common confession on "Our Lord Jesus Christ: The Only Mediator between God and Humankind," on "Christ, Mediator and Reconciler," and on "The Work of Christ Reveals that He Is the Son within the Trinity." These sections in the Reformed-Roman Catholic report govern the understanding of the common confession on Justification by Grace through Faith. The doctrine of justification by faith plays a different role in difference confessional families.

Thus, in seeking to understand the tradition of the Reformed churches, it is important to note that its most significant actors were influenced by Christian Humanism. While the German Reformation might be characterized as focusing on the experience and understanding of justification by grace through faith, the Swiss Reformers focused on the sovereignty of God. Thus, William Johnson and John Leith suggested that the question, "Is there a word from God?" rather than the issue of forgiveness is more determinative of the Swiss Reformation, while Bernard Cottret, in his biography of John Calvin, suggested that, even more than the Epistle to the Romans, the Letter to the Hebrews was the foundation of the French and Swiss Reformation. (9) I believe this is evident in the very methodology of the report "Towards a Common Understanding of the Church." This is not to deny the importance of an understanding of the doctrine of justification for the Reformed tradition. Calvin, for example, gave it a central place in his f amous irenic correspondence with Cardinal Sadoleto. (10) Indubitably, justification became a banner or flag of identity around which Christians of the Reformation churches gathered in dispute and debate with Roman Catholics. However the doctrine of justification as such was not the organizing principle of the theology of the Reformed tradition.

The manner in which a doctrine is explored in a bilateral dialogue is determined by the way in which it functions in relation to the other doctrines affirmed in the traditions. However, it is also important to determine how far the doctrine functions within the life and ethos of the communities involved. George Lindbeck noted in his book The Nature of Doctrine that "a religion can be viewed as a kind of cultural and/or linguistic framework or medium that shapes the entirety of life and thought," and he asserted that "[i]ts doctrines, cosmic stories or myths, and ethical directives are integrally related to the rituals it practices, the sentiments or experiences it evokes, the actions it recommends, and the institutional forms it develops." (11) In her recent publication on Lutheran and Catholic thought, Daphne Hampson suggested that the two traditions exemplify different structures of thought, the former dialectical and the latter linear, and concluded her fascinating and provocative study by stressing that " a certain structure carries with it a particular spirituality--or the spirituality demands a certain structure." (12)

It is not surprising, therefore, that a continuing point of discussion between these traditions--and one that will pertain to others' acceding to the Joint Declaration--centers on how far the doctrine of justification is the criterion for articulating the gospel and the life and ethos of the community and how far it is only one criterion among others. The continuing discussion on this point has been evident in discussions hosted by the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, where it was evident that the very concept of an articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae was not one that found resonance in either the Anglican or the Reformed traditions. (13) In seeking to explore further the proposal for adhering to the Joint Declaration, then, I wish to focus on one tradition, since it is important to identify issues of a specific nature that need to be addressed in such a process. Hence, I will seek to present a Reformed understanding of the nature of theology and doctrine and the issue of theological criteria.

The churches of the Reformed tradition see themselves as a "community of wayfarers," to use the description by Swiss theologian Johannes Wollebius, which consolidates the understanding of the tradition, as indicated also by Cottret in his remark on the Letter to the Hebrews. In the prolegomena to Compendium Theologiae Christianae, Wollebius sought to define theology in the first instance as God-talk, based on an understanding of the inner communion of God as the Holy Trinity, and to speak secondarily of theology as "derived," in Christ the God-man, the communication of the Trinity to humankind. Finally, he pointed to the theology of Christ's members--the church. This is described as the theology of the blessed and, with respect to the church militant, as "the theology of the wayfarers." (14) The church militant "sees through a glass darkly" and is a community seeking to reflect on the way and to articulate continually its understanding in hypotheses, until such time as a more complete or adequate theological statement emerges. This articulation has been evident primarily in the confessions of faith of the tradition.

The purpose of the Reformed confessions of faith was not to draw up new formulations of the faith but, rather, to give a theological exposition of the creeds and thus provide an articulation for the journey. Many of the confessions mention the early creeds, which are explicitly affirmed and sometimes expounded. (15) Thus, the continuity with the church of all ages has on the whole been maintained by emphasizing the importance of the ecumenical creeds and by the fact that the structure of the theology of Calvin and the structure of most Reformed confessions of faith derive from the Apostles' Creed. Those who have sought to write theology in the Reformed tradition have tended to do so with this awareness of belonging to specific churches, who are the community of the wayfarers in their place and time, and who discern that the community is charged with the task of articulating the faith in their context, "until such time." Each community seeks to discern in the light of the Word of God. This is reflected in the very title of Calvin's major work, Christianae Religionis Institutio, a beginning of the way into understanding God and humankind. A similar emphasis is evident in the Scots Confession (1560) and the Ten Theses of Berne (1528), for example, which emphasizes that they are statements in time that are subject to correction and modification in light of wrestling with the Word of God.

Attempts were, of course, made for various reasons to seek to harmonize the confessions of faith of different places or to adopt a universal Presbyterian or Reformed confessional statement. But, in the end, as Arthur Cochrane emphasized, in his Reformed Confessions of the 16th Century, "any collection of Reformed Confessions must serve the purpose of illustrating the variety and diversity of Reformed Confessions, depending upon the time, place, and circumstances in which they arose." (17) He noted that such a collection "will attest the freedom with which many particular Churches have confessed Jesus Christ quite independently of the others. Anything like a universal Confession imposed on all congregations and Churches is foreign to the genius of Reformed Churches." (18)

In reaction to a proposal to create a universal Reformed confession of faith in the Alliance of the Reformed Churches holding the Presbyterian System (the precursor to WARC), Karl Barth defined a Reformed confession of faith as follows:

A Reformed Creed is the statement, spontaneously and publicly formulated by a Christian communion within a geographically limited area which, until further action, defines its character to outsiders, and which gives guidance for its own doctrine and life; it is a formulation of the insight currently given to the whale Christian Church by the revelation of God in Jesus Christ, witnessed to by the Holy Scriptures alone. (19)

The diversity of Reformed confessions is, therefore, symptomatic of an understanding of the nature of confessions of faith and of an ecclesiology focused on the community of word and sacrament in each time and place.

An examination of Reformed ecclesiology and theology indicates that the church is the conununity of wayfarers--a community of word, sacrament, and discipleship, in each time and place. From this is evident a diversity in the expression of the faith. However, are there within this diversity certain common statements or fundamentals that articulate the ethos of the tradition? Are there approaches that might lead one to emphasize a Reformed equivalent to the concept of a hierarchy of truths? In seeking to probe this further, let me explore the ways in which Reformed theologians and churches have used the term "fundamental" and have explored the concept, "the substance of the faith."

On the whole, in the writings of the Reformers and of the Reformed confessional statements, the term "fundamentals" or "fundamental article" is not very evident. Calvin, for example, in the Institutes wrote of justification as "the main hinge on which religion turns," (20) but he then always held justification and sanctification together. In the Institutes he also thought it important to acknowledge some articles of faith as necessary, but he did not venture to give an exhaustive list: "such as that God is one, that Christ is God and the Son of God, and that our salvation rests on God's mercy." (21) In his commentary on 1 Corinthians, Calvin named but one fundamental doctrine, namely, "that we cleave to Christ, the only foundation of the Church," (22) which, as Brian Gerrish notes, is not really a doctrine at all. (23)

The Fathers of the Reformed tradition operated largely, with the sense of the wholeness and interrelatedness of Christian doctrine. In general, there was no distinction made in the writings of the Reformers and the confessions between "fundamentals" and "nonfundamentals" or "essentials" and "nonessentials." The confessions of faith themselves have been described as "containing the summe and substance of the doctrine of the Reformed Churches." In precisely these terms did the Scottish Parliament ratify the Westminster Confession of Faith in 1690. (24) As Thomas F. Torrance has commented, the Confession was the sum and substance of some thirty Reformed confessions, including the ancient catholic creeds and conciliar statements of the church (including Chalcedon), although the basic articles of faith handed down through these creeds were set within a confessional frame of distinctively Reformed character. Torrance, in terms similar to Calvin's insight in the above-quoted commentary on 1 Corinthians, attempted t o define what is meant by "the substance of the faith" in the following manner:

... the expressions "the Faith" or "the Deposit," which has been handed on to the Church through the apostles and which the Church is enjoined to guard intact and hand on again, refer not merely to a body of belief in Christ, but to the living substance and foundation of faith in Christ and what he has done for us and our salvation. (26)

The substance of the faith is the unio mystica in Christ.

Despite this theological approach, however, the distinctions between "fundamentals" and "non-fundamentals" or "essentials" and "nonessentials" began to emerge early in the eighteenth century, first of all in giving legal expression to certain Reformed churches and second in relation to formulae of subscription for ordination.

An important distinction in the direction of "hierarchy of truths" is evident in the Church of Scotland Acts of the General Assembly in 1696 and 1720. Reference is made to "the grand mysteries of the Gospel" or "the great and fundamental truths," such as the Trinity, the incarnation, the deity of Christ, propitiation, salvation, regeneration, justification, resurrection, etc., and to the rejection of any other doctrines inconsistent with the confession of faith (for example, the Westminster Confession). The American Presbyterian Church, in 1729, demanded reception and adoption of the Confession "as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures." Similar distinctions have been the subject of the continental Reformed churches, whose discussions influenced the Presbyterian and Reformed churches in the United States. However, throughout the churches of the tradition the debates on the possibility of such a distinction were intense and divisive.

One solution to the tension, evident in a number of British churches in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was the adoption of "Articles Declaratory." The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in its Articles Declaratory of 1921 affirmed:

I. The Church of Scotland is part of the Holy Catholic or Universal Church; worshipping one God, Almighty, all-wise, and all-loving, in the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the same in substance, equal in power and glory; adoring the Father, infinite in Majesty, of whom are all things; confessing our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son, made very man for our salvation; glorying in His Cross and Resurrection, and owning obedience to Him as the Head over all things to His Church; trusting in the promised renewal and guidance of the Holy Spirit; proclaiming the forgiveness of sins and acceptance with God through faith in Christ, and the gift of Eternal Life; and labouring for the advancement of the Kingdom of God throughout the world. The Church of Scotland adheres to the Scottish Reformation; receives the Word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as its supreme rule of faith and life; and avows the fundamental doctrines of the Catholic faith founded thereu pon. (27)

The Articles went on to speak of the Westminster Confession as "containing the sum and substance of the Faith of the Reformed Church." (28) In a sense, the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed provided the framework for the Articles and the description of the identity and unity of the church.

This understanding of the substance of the faith has particular importance at ordinations to the eldership and ministry in the church, where the ordinand subscribes to the confession of faith and has liberty of opinion in all matters that do not enter into "the substance of the faith"--a substance that in many respects remains undefined--and where attempts to seek such a definition have been resisted.

Similarly in the P.C. (U.S.A.), overarching principles of the faith are mentioned in the Book of Order, namely, the Trinity; the incarnation of the eternal Word of God in Jesus Christ; justification by grace done through faith; God's sovereignty; God's election of people for salvation and service; the covenant life of the church, ordering itself according to the Word of God; a faithful stewardship of God's creation; the sin of idolatry; and seeking justice and living in obedience to the Word of God. (29) Such overarching principles, expressed in different ways in different Reformed churches, provide the principles of coherence for the church and point in the direction of what might be a "hierarchy of truths."

While the theological and ecclesiological principles of the Reformed churches emphasize a diversity of expression in the faith, Reformed churches themselves have found it important for their identity and unity to operate tentatively with "the substance" or "essentials of the faith." Therefore, while the Reformed tradition has not found it congenial to identify an articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae, it has through and in its confessions of faith articulated the correlation and interdependence of doctrines that together designate that which is sufficient for salvation.

In the contemporary international bilateral dialogues in which the Reformed churches are involved it is possible to see the above perspectives in operation. The initial statements in the dialogues focus on Jesus Christ as the foundation of the church (30) or Jesus Christ as Mediator and Reconciler from which a trinitarian theology is developed and, as a consequence, an understanding of the justification and sanctification of Christians. (31) While the doctrine of justification and sanctification is treated in the dialogues in a number of ways, the central focus is a reiteration of Calvin's insight that what is fundamental for the church is "that we cleave to Christ, the only foundation of the Church."

This approach to the fundamentals of the faith seems to be consistent with the experience of the New Testament community. James Dunn has concluded the following:

There is no fundamental consensus. . if by that is meant an agreed form of words consistently maintained across the spectrum of the [New Testament] documents. But there is an agreed heart or core of common faith which came to expression in different terms in different contexts and in which other elements of faith and practice cohere, with diverse and at times divergent emphases depending on context. (32)

Further, he stated. "Ecumenical conversation must never forget that it is the correlation and mutual interdependence of doctrine and experience which is at the heart of the fundamental consensus of the [New Testament]." (33) This insight, which is also evident in the Reformed tradition's understanding of doctrine and in that of other traditions also, emphasizes the interdependence of doctrines and therefore raises a question to any tradition that seeks to identify a doctrine as articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae.

The doctrine of justification has provided a hermeneutical key for the Lutheran tradition for the interpretation of scripture, church history, and contemporary society. It has operated as a "material centre." However, in the context of seeking ecumenical consensus, such an approach has been contested.

The Faith and Order study on "The Authority of the Bible," which was discussed at the meeting of the Commission at Louvain in 1971, argued against identifying a "material centre" either in the New Testament or the Bible as a whole when it asserted: "We cannot ... attribute permanent authority to an inner circle of biblical writings or biblical statements and interpret the rest in terms of the inner circle." The report does go on to note, as James Dunn has done more recently, that there are "relational centres"--Jesus the Christ, the Realm of God, the death and resurrection of Jesus--but none of those are to be regarded as exclusive. (34)

Since the intention of ecumenical dialogue and of the event in Columbus is to seek "consensus in faith," which is essential for the unity of the church, might not a productive strategy to seek this be to focus on the correlation and interdependence of doctrines that are evident in scripture and the "ecumenical creeds"? The creeds are testimony to the interdependence and correlation of doctrine and experience. For the Reformed tradition, as I have outlined above, they provide the basic themes and structures for subsequent confessions of faith and theological reflections. However, this is not simply a Reformed perspective.

Bishop Pierre Duprey has noted that the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed expresses the heart of the Christian faith in a short and powerful resume of the history of salvation and was described as the "firm and unique foundation" by the Council of Trent. (35) Although there are a number of difficulties with the approach and some theses proposed by Heinrich Fries and Karl Rahner in their Unity of the Church: An Actual Possibility, their first thesis, which underlies the search for the unity of the church, is helpful: "The fundamental truths of Christianity, as they are expressed in Holy Scripture, in the Apostles' Creed, and in that of Nicea and Constantinople are binding on all partner churches of the one Church to be." (36)

It was with those perspectives that the Faith and Order Commission had earlier embarked on the study that resulted in the volume, Confessing the One Faith: An Ecumenical Explication of the Apostolic Faith As It Is Confessed in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (381). (37) The invitation issued to the churches to consider how far this ecumenical creed expresses the faith of the church and to incorporate the creed into catechetical and liturgical practice has met with little response. It would seem to me, however, that by considering this multilateral study--and that will take time and energy--the churches might be able to affirm a basic consensus in the fundamentals of the faith, by approaching the issue on the basis of the correlation and interdependence of doctrine and life, thereby providing a basis for moving toward manifesting more visibly the unity of the church. Such an approach is evident in the work of the Faith and Order Commission in the past forty years, and it is consonant with the understandin g of the nature of doctrine as outlined by Lindbeck and evident in the polity of many ecclesial traditions.

The Joint Declaration on Justification between the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran churches is a signal achievement. It declares condemnations to be no longer valid and moves into a situation where a positive relationship between the communities becomes possible. These condemnations are specific to these traditions, which share a history of action, reaction, and separation. The work of bilateral dialogues is essential for the reconciliation of memories. (38) The dialogues reflect the ethos, spirituality, structure, and theology of the participating communities. This is their essential role. However, if the churches are to move toward more visibly manifesting their unity in Christ to the glory of the Holy Trinity in each place, it seems appropriate that they expend effort, imagination, and persistence on the movement toward fundamental consensus on the basic truths of the Christian faith. This might most appropriately be pursued through a reinvigorated process focused on the study, "Confessing the One Faith."

(1.) Edward Cardinal Cassidy, "The Catholic Church and Ecumenism at the Beginning of the 21st Century," unpublished manuscript, p.8.

(2.) Towards a Common Understanding of the Church," Sect. 2.2. paras. 77-79, in Jeffrey Gras, Harding Meyer, and William G. Rusch, eds., Growth in Agreement II: Reports and Agreed Statements of Ecumenical Conversations on a World Level, 1982-1998, Faith and Order Paper 187 (Geneva: WCC Publications; Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000), pp. 798-799.

(3.) World Council of Churches press release, February 2, 2001.

(4.) P.C. (USA) News, June 7,2001.

(5.) Minutes of the World Methodist Council Executive Committee, Hong Kong, 1999, para, XIII, Ecumenics and Dialogue Report. Young is a now-retired staff member of the W.M.C. in Geneva.

(6.) Lutheran-Reformed-Roman Catholic Conversations, "The Theology of Marriage and the Problem of Mixed Marriages" (1976), in Harding Meyer and Lukas Vischer, eds., Growth in Agreement: Reports and Agreed Statements of Ecumenical Conversations on a World Level, Ecumenical Documents 2, Faith and Order Paper 108 (New York and Ramsey, NJ: Paulist Press; and Geneva WCC Publications, 1984), pp. 277-306.

(7.) World Alliance of Reformed Churches, "Constitution," amended 1997, para. 2.

(8.) See Karl Lehmann and Wolfhart Pannenberg eds., The Condemnations of the Reformation Era: Do They Still Divide? (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1990 [orig.: Lehrverurteilungen--kirchentrennend? (Freiburg: Herder, 1986)]); John Reumann, Righteousness in the New Testament (Philadelphia: Fortress Press; and New York and Ramsey, NJ: Paulist Press, 1982); H. George Anderson, T. Austin Murphy, and Joseph A. Burgess, eds., Justification by Faith: Lutherans and Catholics in Dialogue VII (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Press, 1985); and Karl Lehmann, Michael Root, and William Rusch, eds., Justification by Faith: Do the Sixteenth-Century Condemnations Still Apply? (New York: Continuum, 1997).

(9.) See William S. Johnson and John H. Leith, Reformed Reader, vol. 1 (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993), p. xx; and Bernard Cottret, Calvin: A Biography, tr. M. Wallace McDonald (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 2000 [orig.: Calvin: Biographic (Paris: Editions Jean-Claude Lattes, 1995)]), p. 83.

(10.) John Olin, ed., John Calvin and Jacopo Sadoleto: A Reformation Debate (New York: Harper, 1966).

(11.) George A. Lindbeck, The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age (Philadelphia: Westminster Press; London: SPCK, 1984), p. 33.

(12.) [Margaret] Daphne Hampson, Christian Contradictions: The Structures of Lutheran and Catholic Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), p. 285.

(13.) In, e.g., a consultation on "Articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae and the Hierarchy of Truths" in 2000. The Presentations to which I refer were given by Bishop Stephen Sykes, Prof Anne Williams, and myself. The following discussion on the substance of the faith draws on material I presented at that consultation.

(14.) In John W. Beardslee III, ed. and tr., Reformed Dogmatics (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1977).

(15.) Introduction in Arthur C. Cochrane, ed. with historical intros., Reformed Confessions of the 16th Century (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1966).

(16). Ibid., pp. 45, 159.

(17.) Ibid., pp. 16-17.

(18.) Ibid., p. 17.

(19.) Karl Barth, Theology and Church: Shorter Writings, 1920-1 928, tr. Louise Pettibone Smith (London: SCM Press; New York: Harper & Row, 1962), p. 112.

(20.) Institutes, Book 3, chap. 11.

(21.) Institutes, Book 4. chap. 1, sec. 12.

(22.) David W. Torrance and Thomas F. Torrance, eds., Calvin's Commentaries, vol. 9: The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, tr. John W. Fraser (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd; Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1960), 1 Cor. 3:11, pp. 73-75.

(23.) Brian Gerrish, "Tradition in the Modem World: The Reformed Habit of Mind," in David Willis and Michael Welker, eds., Toward the Future of Reformed Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999), p. 13.

(24.) Thomas F. Torrance, "The Substance of Faith," in Willis and Welker, Toward the Future, p. 167.

(25.) Ibid.

(26.) Ibid, p. 176.

(27.) "Articles Declaratory," in Douglas M. Murray, Freedom to Reform: The 'Articles Declaratory' of the Church of Scotland, 1921, The Chalmers Lectures of 1991 (Edinburgh: T& T Clark, 1993), p. 142.

(28.) Ibid.

(29.) See Joseph D. Small, ed., Confessions. Principles, and Diversify: Excerpts from Presbyterian Thealogical Resources (Louisville, KY: Office of Theology and Worship, Presbyterian Church [U.S.A.], 1999).

(30.) "Lutheran-Reformed Dialogue," in Gros, Meyer and Rusch, Growth in Agreement II, para. 19, p. 235.

(31.) "Reformed-Roman Catholic Dialogue." in ibid., p. 175.

(32.) James D. G. Dunn, "Fundamental Consensus in the New Testament," in Joseph A. Burgess, ed., In Search of Christian Unity: Basic Consensus/Basic Differences (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press 1991), pp. 202,203.

(33.) Ibid., p. 203 (emphasis in original).

(34.) The Authority of the Bible," para. 7, in Lukas Vischer, ed., Faith and Order, Louvain 1971: Study Reports and Documents, Faith and Order Paper 59 (Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1971), p. 17.

(35.) Pierre Duprey, "Fundamental Consensus and Church Fellowship: A Roman Catholic Perspective," in Burgess, In Search of Christian Unity, p. 140 (emphasis in original).

(36.) Heinrich Fries and Karl Rahner, Unity of the Churches: An Actual Possibility. tr. Ruth C. L. Gritsch and Eric W. Gritsch (Philadelphia: Fortress Press; and New York and Ramsey, NJ: Paulist Press, 1985 [orig.: Einigung der Kirchen--reale Moglichkeit (Freiberg/B.: Verlag Herder, 1983)]), p. 7.

(37.) "Confessing the One Faith: An Ecumenical Explication of the Apostolic Faith as It Is Confessed in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (381), Faith and Order Paper 153 (Geneva: WCC Publications, 1991).

(38.) See Alan Falconer and Joseph Liechty, eds., Reconciling Memories (Dublin: Columba Press, 1998).

Alan Falconer (Church of Scotland) has been director of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches since 1995. He was director of the Irish School of Ecumenics, 1990-95, having lectured there, 1979-90. Ordained in the Church of Scotland, beholds an M.A. and a B.D. (1970) from Aberdeen University in Scotland, and be received a D.Litt. honoris causa from Phillips Graduate Seminary, Tulsa, OK, in 1995. He was president of Societas Oecumenica (the European Society for Ecumenical Research), 1986-90. He has authored numerous journal articles on ecumencial themes and co-edited two volumes: Reconciling Memories, 2nd eel. (Dublin: Columba Press, 1998), with Joseph Liechty, and Episkope and Episcopacy and the Quest for Visible Unity (Geneva: WCC Publications, 1999), with Peter Bouteneff. He also edited Faith and Order in Moshi (WCC Publications, 1998).
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Title Annotation:Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification; World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission
Author:Falconer, Alan D.
Publication:Journal of Ecumenical Studies
Geographic Code:00WOR
Date:Jan 1, 2001
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