Written from an ecumenical perspective, "That All May Be One" is addressed to those who are concerned about hierarchy in their own churches and those concerned about the ecumenical movement. Terence L. Nichols details the notion of participatory hierarchy, grounding it in Scripture and in Christian tradition.Written from an ecumenical perspective, "That All May Be One" is addressed to those who are concerned about hierarchy in their own churches and those concerned about the ecumenical movement. Terence L. Nichols details the notion of participatory hierarchy, grounding it in Scripture and in Christian tradition.Read Less
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New. Although hierarchical institutions today are widely under attack, the question facing the Church is not Should there be hierarchy, but rather, What kind of hierarchy should there be? Nichols argues that it is a mistake to equate hierarchy tout court with dominance, imperialism, patriarchy, authoritarianism, and oppression--what he calls the command model. Any excessive emphasis on command produces rebellion and schism, a thesis confirmed by the Reformation. Defending the need for hierarachy while heralding its abuses and failures may sound like a tall order, but Nichols walks this tightrope with ease thanks to his admirable familiarity with Scripture, church history, and ecclesiology. He counters Protestant claims that the early Church was egalitarian in structure, but notes that divergent views of hierarchy began to separate East from West as early as the fifth century. The eastern Church's conciliar model of power did not disappear from the West, however, but continued to flourish in some locales throughout the Middle Ages. The Reformation brought another major shift in concepts of authority: Protestants invested governing power in the community of believers while Rome became entrenched in Papal absolutism. Nichols' final chapter proposes a new paradigm (a participatory model of social hierarchy) that provides not so much a middle ground between the command and egalitarian models as it does a renewal of the conciliar tradition still usually practiced in the East today.
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