After our likeness
January 1, 1998
What is the mission of the Church? How should the Church be organized? Indeed, what is the Church? And who gets to answer such questions?
Presbyterians who went to Minnesota in mid-April and those who gathered in Colorado two weeks later (see stories, p. 1) responded very differently to these concerns. But mere recognition that differences exist does not create common ground, let alone the unity of purpose and vision that will be needed if the PCUSA is to be God’s faithful servant as the Church begins its third millennium.
That is why After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity (book review) should be required reading for all those in, or aspiring to, positions of denominational leadership. For in this challenging and stimulating book, author Miroslav Volf rightly notes that “the way one thinks about God will decisively shape not only ecclesiology, but the entirety of Christian thought.” His book then helps to focus our fragmented attention on the overlooked truth that the Trinity is the “determining reality” of the nature, structure, and function of the Church.
Volf’s assertion that the Church must model the image of the Triune God is a timely reminder to Presbyterians of all persuasions that as the Church is not our creation, so it is not ours to reimagine or to reinvent.