Shadows of the Deeper Realities: An Interview with Ephraim Radner

What is your hope for the Church in the near future? 

The Church's history is one of ups and downs in all kinds of ways. But we do learn things, and at least at certain points of time, such learning is put to good use for both church and human society. Consider the ending of slave trade and of slavery itself (although, to be sure, Christians had been part of the problem in the first place!). I think that there is the possibility of Christian churches doing something similar with respect to what we call "divided societies" today.

One reason I am so committed to Anglicanism is that at least the challenge of Christian unity and its relation the political commonwealth is out in the open in its struggle for self-understanding and faithfulness. We are not yet succeeding in embodying unity, but the factors involved are on the table and are being discussed in ways that we have not seen since the early days of post-World War II ecumenism. And, of course, the realities here are all linked—issues of divine truth, cultural pluralism, riven societies, human suspicions, ecclesial imperatives. So, my hope is that the deeply difficult struggle for unity that Anglicans around the world are only just engaging will not be dropped, and will be faced honestly. I think younger Christians (and younger Anglicans) have a thirst for pursuing this calling, and I pray they will prove more determined than their elders in this regard!

Visit the Patheos Book Club for more conversation on A Brutal Unity.

12/1/2012 5:00:00 AM
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  • About Alonzo L. Gaskill
    Alonzo L. Gaskill is an author, editor, theologian, lecturer, and professor of World Religions. He holds degrees in philosophy, theology, and biblical studies. He has authored more than two-dozen books and numerous articles on various aspects of religion; with topics ranging from world religions and interfaith dialogue, to scriptural commentaries, texts on symbolism, sacred space, and ritual, and even devotional literature.