By Miroslav Volf
In After Our Likeness, Miroslav Volf explores the connection among individuals and neighborhood in Christian theology. He seeks to counter the traits towards individualism in Protestant ecclesiology and provides group its due.
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Extra info for After Our Likeness: The Church As the Image of the Trinity
From this it also follows that the totality is to be conceived from the principle "single individual," a principle grounded both soteriologically and christologically. " There can be but one redeemer for the whole world;161 any plurality of redeemers would necessarily involve their respective particularity. Christ's singularity follows from his universality, and this singularity then constitutes the foundation of the unity of the church as his body. 163 154. See Ratzinger, Das neue Volk, 219. 155.
73f. 149. Ratzinger, Das neue Volk, 215. This representative function of the bishop is not to be confused with parliamentary representation. , 162). Neither, however, can the body thus represented by a bishop be an internally closed-off local church, but rather only a local church that is what it is precisely because in it the entire church is actualized. Hence the task of the bishop as representative is not "to determine the statistical mean value of the opinions of those whom he represents and then to bring these to bear in a form as chemically free as possible of his own additions"; his task is rather to represent "the common elements of the church" (Ratzinger, Das neue Volk, 162, my emphasis; cf.
146 Every local congregation is organized internally in a vertical fashion, since it is led by a bishop (together with presbyters and deacons). The bishop gathers together all the believers at a specific locale into a church. From this follows the singularity of the episcopal office at a specific locale and the binding of church membership to communion with the bishop. ) totality in which the one church of God is realized. If through the bishop this vertically organized local church is indeed to be bound into the communio ecclesiarum, however, then the bishop must also be a representative of his congregation to the larger church.
After Our Likeness: The Church As the Image of the Trinity by Miroslav Volf