The Emergent Ecumenism by Thomas C. Oden

The Emergent Ecumenism

A Response to Robert P. George

by Thomas C. Oden

Six recent ecumenical gatherings set the tone for what is being called the “new ecumenism.” (1) Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) met recently in New York for preliminary drafting of a new study on the Universal Call to Holiness. (2) Earlier I had attended the Notre Dame conference on Faith and Order, which was essentially a post-National Council of Churches (NCC) planning conference. (3) Then I went to Washington, D.C., for the meeting of the Association for Church Renewal (ACR), which is in the process of creating a theological arm of the confessing movements within the mainline. (4) Then I went to Dallas to meet with the Confessing Theologians Commission with young orthodox theologians from the mainline confessing and renewing movements to draft a statement for the first grass-roots national meeting of the Association for Church Renewal. (5) Then I chaired the board meeting of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, which seeks to ground in classical Christian teaching an ecumenical social witness within the mainline churches. (6) Then came this Touchstone conference on the unity we cannot as yet actualize, facing up to the forms of disunity that we must sustain.

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