Questions tagged [ecclesiology]

Ecclesiology is the theological study of the Christian Church. Questions related to church's origins, its role in salvation, its polity, its discipline, its destiny, and its leadership can be asked under this tag.

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How do Protestants interpret Matthew 16:13–20?

The verses read like this: 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; ...
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How would Reformed Christians deal with homosexual marriage of individuals prior to their conversion to Christianity?

I've been pondering this for several weeks and I believe that the reformed church (really, the church in general) is woefully unprepared to answer the following question: How would the church deal ...
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Does the Catholic Church officially recognize Protestants as Christians?

I have always thought that the Pope did not recognize the validity of the faith of those outside of the Catholic church, but in comments from a different post I am surprised to find out I may be ...
Mike's user avatar
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What of Augustine's ecclesiology was rejected in the Reformation?

BB Warfield is famous for saying that the Reformation was a triumph of Augustine's soteriology over his ecclesiology. For those who believe that Augustine's ecclesiology was rejected in the ...
Mr. Bultitude's user avatar
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What effect did the 1897 decree regarding the Johannine Comma have on Catholic scholarship?

The Comma Johanneum, found in some versions of 1 John 5:7–8, such as the KJV, is a disputed text that has been used since at least the Middle Ages to defend trinitarian doctrine. Scholars now widely ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
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Do Mormons secretly pray about you and then consider you included in their church?

I met two men on the street who were Mormons. We had a nice discussion and they gave me their book with a bookmark pointing to a verse in it. Later that day I met with my friend and he said I ...
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How do schisms in the church fit into the plans of a monotheistic God? [closed]

Before 1054 a reasonable claim could be made that there existed "one holy catholic and apostolic Church", as the Nicene Creed puts it. Since then, the visible church has divided into at least three ...
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Origin of the Reformed "Marks of the True Church"

In Reformed Theology, "the marks of a true church" are often delineated, to the effect of: Church discipline Teaching/preaching Administration of the sacraments (These are the marks often denoted in ...
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Did the church fathers or OT talk about the visible and invisible church?

In the Reformation, the doctrine of the distinction between the visible and invisible church was important in the Reformers' claim not to have started a rogue church. I am wondering... Given that it ...
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How do Latter-day Saints rebut Don Stewart's article "Are There Still Apostles Today?"?

Short version How do Latter-day Saints (who believe in modern apostles) rebut Don Stewart's article Are There Still Apostles Today? ? Longer version I'll enumerate key points and include relevant ...
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How do Protestants answer the Catholic accusation of historicity?

The Roman Catholic Church has a claim of apostolic succession, from St. Peter transited by the laying on of hands. Most Protestants reject this understanding of apostolic succession, and instead teach ...
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What is the doctrinal or Scriptural basis for a central Church authority?

As explained in a previous question, one Baptist Distinctive is the rejection of a central Church authority (whether an individual or a governing body). Instead, we hold fast to the autonomy of the ...
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When did the word "Catholic" become a proper noun?

After reading "At what point did the Roman See start self-identifying as the Catholic Church?" on this site I enjoyed a bit of research into the etymology and meaning of the word "Catholic," and as ...
JBH's user avatar
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What does John Calvin mean to imply by the "suffrage" of the church?

In his Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin discusses the idea that the Biblical canon depends on the ratifying action of the Church (Book 1, Chapter 7). He thinks it does not, preferring ...
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According to churches which teach Believer's Baptism, what are the consequences of not being baptized with water?

Are there any direct consequences to not getting baptized? Whether this person doesn't think it's important, or just doesn't want to, or wants to but just doesn't get around to it, did Jesus or his ...
LCIII's user avatar
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On What Basis do Churches that uphold Inerrancy Authorize Female Preachers? - 1 Corinthians 14:34 [duplicate]

Women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. Many churches these days feature female pastors, preachers and teachers. ...
Dan Fefferman's user avatar
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How comparable are the concepts of the Teaching Magisterium in the Catholic Church and the Jehovah's Witnesses view of their Watch Tower society?

Just how comparable is this particular aspect of each group's ecclesiology? If from an academic viewpoint there are marked similarities, is there an identifiable Jehovah's witness perspective on the ...
bruised reed's user avatar
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On what basis does Thomas Aquinas say that the Church existed since the time of Abel?

In Aquinas' Expositio in Symbolum Apostolorum (Explanation of the Apostles' Creed), his explanation in Article 9 of the Church being "catholic" includes this statement: Nam aliqui dixerunt, ...
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According to Catholicism, is the Body of Christ the same as the Bride of Christ?

Are there any Catholic teaching that differentiates between the “Body of Christ” (Church) and the “Bride of Christ”? Eve was taken from the Body of the First Adam, will the Bride of Christ be taken ...
Rick's user avatar
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What would the Catholic Church's hierarchy look like without the Vatican?

What does the Roman Catholic Church teach would happen if something catastrophic (God forbid!) Destroyed the entire city of Rome, as well as the Vatican city-state? As an example - what would happen ...
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How do Congregationalists explain 1st Tim 1:3 and Titus 1:5?

1 Timothy 1:3, KJV As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine Titus 1:5, KJV For this cause ...
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How does the ancient Jewish Wedding tradition foreshadow Christ and the church?

I remember something about the ancient Jewish Wedding Ceremony being a foreshadowing of Christ and the Church. Kay Arthur authored a novel that illustrates this idea, entitled With an Everlasting ...
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Reformed perspective on "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us" (Acts 15:28)

Acts 15 records the Council of Jerusalem, a meeting in about 50AD of early Church leaders regarding whether Gentiles could be Christians without first becoming Jews. "After much discussion" (15:7) ...
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Does the Bible refer to Christian gentiles or the Church as "New Israelites", "New Israel" or "Spiritual Israel"?

Introduction: Merriam-Webster defines New Israel as “the Christian fellowship of believers: the Christian Church.” The relationship of Israel and the Church has been debated for centuries and various ...
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Is there any extra-biblical evidence that shows the apostles were martyred?

Church tradition tells us that most of the 12 apostles were martyred, with the apostle John being the only one considered to die an old death. Is there any extra-biblical evidence that shows the ...
ellied's user avatar
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How did Martin Luther justify the separation from the Catholic Church?

Even though Luther found great abuses in the Church of his time, there is the clear idea in the Bible that the Church is one, Jesus even prays that his followers be in unity. ("I pray that they will ...
Dan's user avatar
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7 votes
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Historically, how did Protestantism first arrive at a consensus?

Paul urges the Corinthian church : Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be ...
Nigel J's user avatar
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According to Catholics, who are "the elect"?

Calvinists believe that God unconditionally elects certain people to believe, these are His "elect" I am trying to figure what Catholics believe. This article states "A true biblical understanding of ...
Bryce Mitchell's user avatar
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Jehovah's Witnesses's teaching on the Church

I just read a wiki page on Jehovah's witnesses, visited their official website, and was quite surprised that in the list of their believes there is a striking absence of the definition (or at least ...
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The gates of hell won't prevail against the church (Matt 16:18), but the beast is given authority to conquer the saints (Rev 13:7)

How would someone who doesn't believe in a pretribulation rapture harmonize the following two verses? "...and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against ...
Christian's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
540 views

According to Reformed Baptist theology when did the Church begin?

According to Reformed Baptist theology, when did the Church begin? In the Old Testament or in the New Testament?
Bill Hamilton's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
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Was there a time when bishops were not appointed to other sees and did not generally ever relocate?

Today it is common for bishops to relocate to another (probably more prestigious) episcopal see. For example Rainer Wölki was first titular Bishop of Scampa, then Archbishop of Berlin and is now ...
David Woitkowski's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
310 views

Is "formal schismatic" a useful category in practice?

Wikipedia says that formal schismatics are those who: knowing the true nature of the Church, have personally and deliberately committed the sin of schism. But if formal schismatics have to truly ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
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5 votes
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According to Catholic teaching, what is the status of a priest who does not agree with the Church's stated teachings on homosexuality and gender?

According to Catholic teaching, is a priest who does not agree that homosexuality is a sin and affirms transgender identity a heretic or a dissenter? For instance, would the bishops of the Roman ...
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Do Reformed theologians understand the Catholic Church and the Papacy to have been true heirs of Peter until the Reformation?

In other words, say, in the fourth century, were they "on track" and the legitimate heirs of the reins of Christianity, so to speak but then went off track toward the middle ages? Or do they ...
Ruminator's user avatar
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Apostolic Succession in the Catholic church

Wikipedia says: In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle. cf. Pope | Wikipedia As someone who isn't Catholic I don't want to argue how true ...
Greg's user avatar
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How do Christians who believe in current-day Apostles, Prophets and the 5-fold ministry interpret Ephesians 2:20?

The idea of a 5-fold ministry originally comes from Ephesians 4:11-13: 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ...
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5 votes
3 answers
494 views

Are there theological explanations for why God chose the Church to preach the gospel instead of more effective and efficient alternatives?

If the end goal is the preaching of the gospel to every human on the planet, then it shouldn't be too hard to come up with very efficient and effective methods to do so. For example, God could send ...
user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
320 views

To "once saved always saved" advocates, what does it mean that church leaders "keep watch over our souls"?

Many evangelicals believe that people cannot lose their salvation due to disobedience. If that is so, why do we need people to "keep watch over our souls"? Hebrews 13:17 (ESV) Obey your leaders and ...
Marc's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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What is the LDS Law of Common Consent and why is it important?

The LDS Church is perhaps unique in the idea that instruction and change within the Church isn't simply automatic — that Church leaders can't simply do what they want. This doctrine is embodied ...
JBH's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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When a Jehovah's Witness is reinstated how does the congregation react?

When a disfellowshipped person takes the steps necessary to be accepted back into the Jehovah's Witness faith an announcement is made to the congregation informing all of the reinstatement of this ...
Kris's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
411 views

According to Protestants, must clergy be ordained by other ordained clergy?

Some of the initial leaders of the Reformation, who presumably ordained later Protestant clergy, were ordained priests in the Catholic Church. But, in (denominational, rather than congregationalist) ...
Betterthan Kwora's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
165 views

How is the "spirituality of the church" consistent with theonomy?

In Hart and Muether's history of American Presbyterianism, Seeking a Better Country, they describe a doctrine of the "spirituality of the church," which emphasizes the spiritual, not social, task of ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
114 views

How was the word preached in NT era churches?

In many churches today, the word is preached as follows: a pastor / priest talks for the entirety of the meeting (generally 1 hour) a large group of Christians listen. In the Watchmen Nee inspired ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
490 views

Marks of the true church in Protestantism or Catholicism? [duplicate]

Although this very related question about the marks of the true church in Reformed Theology has already been asked, my question is whether other Protestant traditions or Catholicism have an equivalent ...
Cohen_the_Librarian's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
166 views

What is to be understood by Mary being the "mother of the church"?

Ever since St. Ambrose of Milan there has been a line of thinking that Mary is the "Mother of the Church" - what is to be understood by this title?
Reluctant_Linux_User's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
242 views

In Catholicism, do the teachers more truly constitute the "church" than the hearers?

While reading Louis Berkhof's Systematic Theology, I found him claiming that Catholicism makes an important distinction between the teaching church (ecclesia docens) and the hearing church (ecclesia ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
542 views

On the English equivalents of κυρικόν and κυριακόν

From ``Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma'' by Ludwig Ott: According to St. Francis de Sales: ``Church comes from the Greek word meaning to call. Church then signifies an assembly, or company of persons ...
DDS's user avatar
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4 votes
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Missing work of St. Augustine in Latin?

I have been trying to look for a work of St. Augustine in Latin but I have had no luck of finding it. Not only that, I don't think it's been translated to English. It's called "La Fe, Dedicada a Pedro ...
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4 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the justification used by the Nazarene denomination that permits women to be pastors/ elders?

Nazarenes allow for, and indeed pride ourselves on, our allowance of women in the pastorate. What is their justification for doing so?
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