Church and Churches: Ecumenism

William J. Abraham

in The Oxford Handbook of Evangelical Theology

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195369441
Published online January 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Church and Churches: Ecumenism

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Evangelicalism as a movement within Protestantism is best understood as an essentially contested tradition that is instantiated in at least three significantly diverse embodiments over its long historical pilgrimage. It is embodied in the magisterial Protestantism of the Reformation, in the evangelical awakenings of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and in twentieth-century conservative evangelicalism. The differences in ecclesiology that appear in these diverse articulations of the tradition are vital to understanding the recent tensions evoked by ecumenism. The public dispute between John Stott and Martyn Lloyd-Jones brings to the surface the ecclesial ambivalence within the tradition across its long and tangled history. The position of Lloyd-Jones rearticulated one strain of the Reformed tradition in its quest for a true church marked by discipline and opposed to Roman Catholicism; the position of Stott reaffirmed the reaction against this as seen in the ecumenical and renewalist tendencies of revivalism.

Keywords: Protestantism; evangelicalism; ecumenism; evangelical awakenings; conservative evangelicalism; ecclesiology; Roman Catholicism; revivalism

Article.  7026 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Christianity

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