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date: 25 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Method can mean either the steps taken to achieve church unity or the principles appropriate to the study of ecumenism. Most ecumenists have sought organic unity; they have hoped that agreement on the issue of authority would further this end. This turned out to be impossible, and recently there has been a shift from epistemology to pneumatology. This shift allows for a third option beyond the claims of Catholicism and Orthodoxy, on the one hand, and Magisterial Protestantism, on the other, as regards ecclesial continuity. We can think of the creation of the church as the reinstantiation of primitive Christianity in the wake of Pentecost. Messianic Judaism provides telling warrant for pursuing this option. This shift also provides fresh hope for ecumenism by moving beyond conciliar conversations about doctrine, and calling instead for gift-sharing—that is, the realistic sharing of what we actually think are gifts for the common good.

Keywords: method, authority, epistemology, pneumatology, primitive Christianity, Messianic Judaism, gift-sharing

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