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In One Body Through the Cross: The Princeton Proposal for Christian Unity [Paperback]

By Robert W. Jenson (A01)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   62
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.24" Width: 6.38" Height: 0.21"
Weight:   0.18 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2003
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802822983  
EAN  9780802822987  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The Princeton Proposal is a landmark statement on the present situation and future possibilities of modern ecumenism. Drafted by sixteen theologians and ecumenists from various church traditions, who met over a period of three years in Princeton, New Jersey, this document seeks to steer contemporary efforts at church unity away from social and political agendas, which are themselves divisive, and back to the chief goal of the modern ecumenical movement the visible unity of Christians worldwide, of all those who are reconciled "in one body through the cross." Since the study group that produced this statement was instituted and its participants were chosen by an independent ecumenical foundation, the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology, their "unofficial" work presents especially profound and creative reflection on the ecumenical task. With this report the study group members do not claim to speak for their churches, but hope to speak to all the churches out of shared concern for the founding ecumenical imperative "that they all may be one . . . so that the world may believe."

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More About Robert W. Jenson

Robert W. Jenson Robert W. Jenson is an American Lutheran systematic theologian and Professor Emeritus of Religion at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. Currently he is a professor of religion at the Center for Theological Inquiry at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Jenson attended Luther College and Luther Seminary. Between his years as a college student and a seminarian, he studied philosophy in Paris as a Fulbright scholar. At Luther Seminary Jenson was assistant to the famous Orthodox Lutheran theologian, Herman Preus. Preus infused with Jenson a strong belief in Orthodox Lutheran understanding of predestination. Against the majority of the staff at Luther Seminary at that time, who believed that God merely foreknew who would have faith and who not, Preus held that God had decreed the salvation of a definite number of the elect, without a decree of reprobation.

Later Jenson went to Heidelberg where he became familiar with the theology of Karl Barth, and, under the supervision of Peter Brunner, he wrote his doctoral dissertation on Barth's doctrine of election. Jenson then began teaching at Luther College, where he continued to study Barth and also became increasingly interested in the philosophy of Hegel. The staff of the Religion Department at Luther College grew impatient with his teaching and charged him with teaching heresy. They threatened to resign if Jenson was not fired, but the college's president supported Jenson, and several professors subsequently left the college.

Throughout this period he became increasingly interested in ecumenical theology, and in the 1980s and 1990s his theology moved in a progressively Catholic and ecumenical direction. With Braaten he founded the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology. The Centre publishes the journal Pro Ecclesia, and it has produced several books on ecumenical theology.

Robert W. Jenson currently resides in Princeton, in the state of New Jersey. Robert W. Jenson has an academic affiliation as follows - Princeton University.

Robert W. Jenson has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching & Preaching
  2. Interpretation: Resources for the Use of Scripture in the Church
  3. Radical Traditions (Paperback)
  4. Systematic Theology
  5. Systematic Theology (Oxford Hardcover)

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4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Ecumenism   [262  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
In One Body Through the Cross  Jan 26, 2007
A very important work in the present ecumenical climate. A challenge to "see" again and continually the heart of the ecumenical endeavour as a moving with the Spirit to visible unity of the church.
No Future--No Future For You  Jan 18, 2007
In seems this is a generational preoccupation, the ecumenical institutional unity of the Christian Church. There have been endless meetings and drafts of papers on just how the Christian Church (or "Churches", if you will) will put aside centuries of differences and join into one mighty throng to witness to the whole world. As I said, this seems to be a generational thing. Those born before the Korean War seem to take this task as the be all and end all for the Christian Church. On the other hand, it may be simply an enthusiasm of those in the ministry. Those in the trenches-the laymen-take it as a positive sign that Christians of all stripes are more and more civil and friendly toward one another. It is this overwhelming desire to see "the mating of the mammoths" that is out of place and ill considered.
As a baby-boomer Lutheran, I have attended more ecumenical gatherings than I care to remember. Most were great. Some absolutely stunk. Most laymen come away from these experiences with love and respect for our "separated" brothers and sisters-yet deep down we come to know just what we are. I never realized how much of a Lutheran I was until I discussed the faith other Christians. In the end, I am not going to change for them nor will they change just to suit me.
Ecumenists love the quote Jesus petition to the Father in the Garden "that they all be one". I hope it is not mean-spirited to point out that Jesus also asked that "this cup pass" from Him. That request was not granted and it seems evident that "may they be as one" was not granted either. Indeed, a close examination of any proposal to unify all the Christianity usually entails several "someones" ceasing to be what makes them what they are. This is why some Churches see ecumenism as theological aggression by other means.
That the various Christian Churches have come to treat one another with generosity and respect is no small accomplishment. That most Lutherans no longer take it as a doctrinal certainty that the Pope is the Antichrist is a vast change from the past. That Lutherans and Catholics see themselves as being on the same side in a hostile world would have been inconceivable not that long ago.
I tend to view the problem of Christian unity through the lens of my own extended family. My family has nearly every Christian expression currently available in America. It has "holy-rollers", Evangelicals, staid mainliners, Catholics and several types of apostates. We get together for holidays and we get along well with each other. A few insults are traded-but ...hey...what do you expect.
I wish them all well. May their houses be in peace and prosper. That doesn't mean we can all live together under the same roof.
Excellent, balanced suggestions from diverse theologians  Jun 11, 2006
The Princeton Proposal was mentioned a great deal several years ago when it was released, but I haven't heard much about it lately. It is quite critical of the present, institutional ecumenical movement, with good reason. Despite numerous concordats, covenants, and decrees bringing historically-divided churches into institutional relationships, the denominations have not done a lot to encourage shared membership, clergy sharing, etc. -- the real signs of ecumenical success. The signers rightly identify cultural narratives within denominations and the leadership's unwillingness to sacrifice theological distinctives and material perquisites as major barriers to Christian unity from within the denominations.

But from the positive side, the signers note that unity already exists in the body of Christ. They recognize the ways our reception of God's grace make real that unity while still understanding that real, effective signs of that unity are lacking. Their proposals are level-headed and practical, but they would require sacrifices and self-criticism that have not been forthcoming these past decades as Faith and Order ecumenism has died. Overall, the impression is mixed, and there is cause for both unhappiness and hope, though hope is currently in shorter supply.
A Challenge to all 3 major branches of Christianity  Jan 19, 2006
This tight & short 62 page book presents, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the contemporary efforts and history of Christian Ecumenism (Christian Unity, not to be confused with Uniformity, Union, or outside-Christianity Ecumensim).

The honesty expressed "In One Body Through the Cross" is very, very, refreshing.

This book is written as a result of 16 theologians (who come from various Christian traditions, confessions, and denominations; but who speak and write freely their ideas without denominational agendas or attached strings) getting together at Princeton University for 3 years, and putting their minds together to talk and discuss the topic of Christian Ecumenism (circa 2000 to 2003).

Robert W. Jenson is the editor and co-author, and is known for being the co-founder of "Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology."

The book starts with the modern history of Ecumenism (20th century), then talks about the challenges and difficulties that Christian churches (local, national, and international) have with the topic of Christian Unity (Ecumenism). To me the most valuable info is found in the last two chapters.

The last chapters, outline the forte of each of the 3 main Christian groups: 1) Roman-Catholic 2) Protestantism 3) Eastern-Orthodoxy. It is followed with suggestions of where each group needs to make changes individually. Then the last chapter, looks at Christianity as a whole and spiritual Bible-based advice is given on a very practical level for all Christians to follow.

I am using this booklet along with the reading resources for the "2006 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity" as a guide for parishioners and believers in the Santa Cruz area who want to find a quiet sanctuary and pray for Unity.

A great companion with/after this booklet is -> "The Ecumenical Future" by Carl E. Braaten.

> May the peace and love of Christ unite us in His Holy Spirit, that others may come to know Chirst and glorify the Father (John 17:21) <

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