Denying Christ’s Body: The Dangers of Ecclesial Gnosticism

The oldest heresies in Christianity have been those that have denied the body—Christ’s body, our bodies.  Gnosticism is a name that applies to a good many of them, Docetism another.  The idea is that God is too great to have taken on a human body and that the material realities of our body are too lowly to be welcomed into the eternal kingdom of God.  The Docetists said that Christ appeared to be human but that he didn’t have real flesh and bones—he was human image without human substance.  The G … [Read more...]

Why Does God Need the Church?

church

Theologian Gerhard Lohfink asks a provocative question: “Does God need the church?”  In his book titled with that question, he answers with a resounding “yes!”  The church, he argues, is essential to God’s mission and work in the world.  But for those of us sitting in many churches on Sunday morning it is hard to see how God might need us.  We look around at our half empty pews and we see a dying church, an aging congregation.  Then we go to a vestry meeting and look at our church budget where we … [Read more...]

Another Gathering

Church shopping is the death of any good Christian, but it is important to visit other churches from time to time to see that God is not contained within our own expression.  Today, visit a church other than your own.  This may mean attending two church services if you have obligations to your own local congregation.  Preferably, visit a church of a completely different orientation.  If you're an Episcopalian visit a Missionary Baptist church, if you're a Roman Catholic visit a Presbyterian chu … [Read more...]


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