S. M. Hutchens on Living Comfortably with the Sectarian Impulse
J. W. Nevin identifies the spirit of sect and schism as the spirit of Antichrist in his essay by that title. Here he lays out, in what I would make required reading for any curriculum in divinity, the marks of this spirit as found in the churches. He quite deliberately places his own ecclesiastical world of nineteenth-century denominational Protestantism (with Roman Catholicism being no help at all) in the guilty middle of this sectarian stream.
In his summary, titled “The Sect Plague and Its Remedy,” Nevin identifies the beginning of the cure as faith in the existence of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, just as one believes the other articles of the Creed—a faith that cannot co-exist with a mind that identifies its own sect as the Church.
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S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.
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