After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity

After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity

After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity

After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity

Excerpt

"We are the people!" was the cry with which the wall between East and West was stormed in November 1989, the people's cry of protest against patronization by the Communist Party and by its appointed government; it was a resounding "no" to the self-appointed avant-garde of the people that was repressing this very people. Although hardly anyone will argue the necessity of the Eastern European velvet revolution, its ultimate success will likely depend on just what becomes of this "we" in its cry of protest. Will this "we" split up into individuals and individual groups concerned only with their own interests? Will it melt into a mass, relinquishing its autonomy to new (nationalistic?) "Führer" who manipulate through old memories and new insecurities?

To my knowledge, no one has tried to storm the ecclesial walls with the cry "We are the church!" (though a broad movement has indeed tried with this slogan to change certain things in the German-speaking Catholic Church). This particular slogan does nonetheless express the protest out of which the Free Churches emerged historically. Although it would doubtless be an oversimplification to understand the early English Separatist movement with Peter Lake

1. In this regard, cf. Volf, "Unclean Spirit," 88f.

2. The expression "Free Churches" involves two primary meanings: It designates first
those churches with a congregationalist church constitution, and second those churches
affirming a consistent separation of church and state (see Mead, Experiment, 103). I use the
term primarily in the first sense, though this meaning also implies the second and is insep
arable from it.

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