The need for the Church

In my spiritual journey toward the Anglican Church, I have had for years a hunger for a better theology of the Church (ecclesiology). I tried to bring that emphasis into my ministry context as I was learning, but the overall structure I was in simply didn’t aid to that emphasis. I served in a denomination that was incredibly poor in their ecclesiology and that was a counter-weight I couldn’t overcome.

“The doctrine of the church has suffered chronically from the Protestant emphasis on the invisible church and particularly from the anti-institutional fear of hierarchical structures that appears common among evangelicals. To be sure, there are signs of change… Still, the overall attitude among evangelicals continues to regard the Eucharist and church as belonging to the well-being (bene esse) rather than to the very being (esse) of the Christian life… if our connection with God is primarily an external or nominal one, rather than one that is real or participatory, there is little room for what traditional theology used to call sacraments or means of grace. According to such an understanding, one may still celebrate communion because it is an “ordinance” of God that regulates our common life together; but the Eucharist will hardly be regarded as a sacrament that participates in the life of Christ and thus as something that mediates to us the life of the triune God.” (Hans Boersma, Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry)

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