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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Considering where ecumenism stands today, this chapter recognizes the difficulty caused by disagreement regarding the goal of ecumenism, which itself results from a lack of ecumenical consensus on the nature of the church and its unity. The rapid rise of evangelical and Pentecostal communities is making the ecumenical situation ever more complex. Drawing especially on Jesus’ prayer for unity in John 17, the chapter outlines six dimensions of ecumenism: spiritual, somatic, Trinitarian, missionary, martyrological, and eschatological. Ecumenism must be grounded in prayer, directed towards a visible unity in reconciled diversity, focused on mission and the credibility of the church’s witness, inspired by the modern martyrs of many churches, and encouraged by the awareness that unity is ultimately God’s work that will be accomplished when Christ returns. Lessons are drawn from the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus for how Christians should behave on the way to unity.

Keywords: Ecumenism, church, unity, reconciled diversity, prayer, witness, martyr, Emmaus

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