Inhabitatio Dei: Types of Ecclesiology

Halden, posting over on Inhabitatio Dei, suggests that there is a four fold axis that can help us describe various denomination’s understanding of the role of the Church in salvation.

From the post:

“From my perspective there are two basic polarities which define the shape of a given ecclesiology.  The first is what I term the High-Low polarity, the second I refer to as the Strong-Weak polarity.  Within this framework any given ecclesial body could potentially fall in one of four categories, High-Strong, High-Weak, Low-Strong, and Low-Weak.  Here are my descriptors of these categories and my attending attempt to put various Christian ecclesial bodies in their proper place.  I am sure there will be inaccuracies here based upon my own ecclesial experiences, familiarities and limitations.  So, please correct me if you are so inclined.  It will help greatly my final development of this typology.”

Read the full article here.

The post goes on to label the Anglican Communion as “High-Strong” but the Episcopal Church as “High-Weak”. The difference is in the difference between the whether or not the local church is necessary to salvation or if it a sign (pointer) to the Kingdom.

It’s quite an interesting question. I’ve always described myself as having an unusually strong ecclessiology (for an Episcopalian). I’m also more concerned than a number of my peers about the implications of the Episcopal Church being “out of communion” with the Anglican Communion. Perhaps I identify more with the “High-Strong” quadrant here than I do with the “High-Weak” and that’s part of my issue.

At any rate, it’s an interesting thought for the day to ponder upon…

Author: Nicholas Knisely

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...