So I wandered off the Approved Reading List for my theological community and stumbled onto Wedgewords, the internet lair of one Steven Wedgeworth. It’s quite the good read in a few different areas, but this little bit just deserved special mention. It’s from a post titled “A Post-Protestant Model“:
…it seems tragic that I would require a shared understanding of limited atonement before I’d recognize a brother as a true brother. So too with the respective relationship between a substance and its accidents during the Eucharist. These just don’t really seem to be the fruits of the Spirit or the way the world will know us, if you’ll forgive my philistine biblicism here.
To plagiarize a certain Dickensian waif: “Please, sir, can I have some more?”
He goes on to offer five basic points of discussion toward a way of approaching church ministry that advances genuinely catholic Christianity. All five points are worth discussing; I encourage you to read the rest of the post here.
Within Rev. Wedgeworth’s own community, the tireless advocates of so-called Reformed Catholicity ought to sit up and take notice of this thought as well. Speaking just for myself, I’m tired of trying to interact with wonderful, brilliant saints, only to have the conversation go like this:
Me: I listened to your lecture on xyz, and found it fascinating. I’d love to hear more about how those thoughts apply in area abc.
Advocate of Reformed Catholicity: Hmmmm…well, are you Reformed?
Me: Well, my Wesleyan friends would probably say so, but really, no, I’m not.
ARC: [pause] Oh. [pause] Well…perhaps you could consult the Alliance of Brainless Evangelicals. They might have something more to your liking.
Come on, people. The problem with Reformed Catholicity is the problem with Roman Catholicity — the ‘r’ word restricting the catholicity. “The Universal Church–you know, the one in Rome” is an oxymoron. But “The Universal Church–you know, the one that subscribes to Reformed theology” just shifts the designation from geography to ideology, which is to say it trades in the relics and the mitered hat for a copy of the Institutes and a Greenville M.Div.
The body of Christ is not defined by those things. To put it bluntly, the Body is bigger than you, and (unlike a goodly chunk of the Roman church) you know it.
And for you non-denominational Free Grace types who are feeling warm and fuzzy at all of this smacking around of denominations — same to you, for the same reasons.