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Mother Church [Paperback]

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Item Number 145684  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   164
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.48" Width: 5.53" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 5, 2000
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN  0800630823  
EAN  9780800630829  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Carl Braaten here issues an energetic call for a truly ecumenical church, including a Lutheran rationale for recovery of the historiacl episcopacy and papal primacy as servants of the gospel.

Publishers Description
Carl Braaten here issues an energetic call for a truly ecumenical church, including a Lutheran rationale for recovery of the historical episcopacy and papal primacy as servants of the gospel.

Quoting Augustine's dictum that "You cannot have God for your father unless you have the church for your mother, " Braaten writes of the church's place in the divine scheme of things and of the various modernisms that distort or hide the classical Christian tradition. Tracing his own ecumenical journey, he outlines an ecclesiology of communion and advances specific proposals for enhancing Christian unity in liturgy, spirituality, and church polity. The confessing movement named after Martin Luther he views in terms of its basic intent to reform and renew the church, not to start a new Christianity in a multiplicity of separate denominations.

Vigorous, provocative, well and clearly argued, Braaten's case is a formidable and timely contribution to the ecumenical debate.

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More About Carl E. Braaten

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Carl E. Braaten is professor emeritus of systematic theology at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and former executive director of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology.

Carl E. Braaten currently resides in Northfield, in the state of Minnesota. Carl E. Braaten was born in 1929.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Church is more than me and my bible  Aug 5, 2007
Read this book if you have any interest in ecumenism that doesn't seek the lowest common denominator, especially if you are Lutheran.

Peter Brunner, a Lutheran theologian, once wrote that if a Lutheran does not regularly ask himself why he is not a Roman Catholic, he doesn't understand why he is a Lutheran. Mother Church kept reminding me of that sentence, since the premise of the book is that it is incumbent upon Christians to honestly ask themselves why they are not united, and then to work toward that healing.

Braaten, a theologian with a very long history of ecumenical work, asks readers to consider why they are where they are, and if it is necessary. Referring to the Reformation as a tragic necessity (Jaroslav Pelikan's quote), he outlines the causes and consequences of such a dramatic break with the continuity of the past, showing that what has emerged is something of a theological free-for-all, even if well-intentioned. Quoting Harnack, of whom Braaten is not a follower!, he says that the meager tradition which Protestantism has left is only the partial remains of Catholicism, like the aroma left in an empty bottle. Braaten seeks to cure that disease, and I think this book is both a strong diagnostic and beginning remedy.

Seeking a new and authoritative dogma of the Church, claiming that none exist from the early Church of the creeds, he tends toward the episcopal structure that in many ways is a connection to the likes of Ignatius of Antioch and Irenaeus, a structure that can defend and articulate the "faith once delivered to the saints". He goes on into detail of how to work Protestantism back to the episcopal unity, which would have union with Rome in there somewhere, focused on the eschatological hope of Christ's return in Glory. In the process of all of this he finds time to masterfully critique left wing exegesis of the Jesus Seminar, completely bash (lovingly) liberal theology, make the reader second guess all his/her assumptions of what "Church" and "Communion" really mean, refute the claims of some Protestants that Catholics believe that they are not saved by grace alone, and much much more.

Personally, I found this to be his best book. I know this review is lacking, since I read the book a few years ago, but what I recall as most significant is his call for those in the Lutheran tradition to return to their roots and quit trying to be Protestant like the rest of them. Lutheranism is distinctive among the churches of the reformation in that it holds to the sacraments, liturgy and episcopacy-or at least it used to... This may not be welcome to the ears of those who have sold their heritage for drum kit and a priest in a polo, but it it's true. Sadly true.

Yet he remains optimistic and hopeful. He writes, "What propels us is not so much pride in what we possess, but hope for what we might receive from the bounty of God's grace. We may quote the words of George Tyrell of the Roman Catholic Church, `God will not ask, What sort of church have you lived in?, but What sort of church have you longed for?' For our part, we long for a church that will be both evangelical and catholic, continuous with the faith of the apostles, and coterminous with all that is valid in the experience of Christ's body on earth." Well put. Nuff said.

Read this book if you have any interest in ecumenism that doesn't seek the lowest common denominator.
Mother Church and Family Re-Union  Sep 19, 2000
For centuries many Christians have stood in separate camps proclaiming why this or that Church was the way of Truth. Braaten, as others have done, reminds us that Christians belong to one Church. The Church in which we now live, according to Braaten, is a provisional structure in that we must all reform and reconcile our divisions. The Church is Christ's work; the divisions are the works of humanity. In understanding and applying the hermeneutical, or interpretive roles of certain parts of the Church, such as office, literature, and ritual, perhaps we will come to realize the nature and expressions of the unity and truth of the Church. Continued cooperative investigation, in charity, for the Truth could be the most promising action for all Christians. The topic of the book is a work in progress, and the content of the book could serve as a fine map for the trek.

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