Monday 4 December 2023

9Marks Journal (December 2023) on Catholicity

The latest issue of the 9Marks Journal, available from here, looks at the topic of ‘Catholicity: Churches Partnering Together’.

In the Editor’s Note, Jonathan Leeman writes:

‘Say the word “catholic” or “catholicity,” and many pastors might give you a quizzical look..

‘The thing is, it’s not a word we often use in everyday evangelical church land…

‘Still, it’s a word that 9Marks has been trying to breathe a little life into for a number of years. Call it our reclamation project. When asked, I give it a three-word definition: churches partnering together. Conceptually, that’s me taking a few shortcuts. The doctrine needs a fuller definition than that. Yet churches partnering together is where the rubber meets the road for a pastor when it comes to catholicity. It’s what catholicity looks like…

‘First, the catholic impulse is biblically required. You should want to partner with churches around the world. Second, that impulse is the Great Commission impulse. It wants more churches everywhere, because Christ has people everywhere. Third, the impulse works against the turfiness and self-sufficiency that seems to follow the attractional church-growth and missions philosophies which have dominated evangelicalism for seventy years. 

‘Therefore, we offer this edition of Church Matters to help you and your fellow church leaders study this fairly neglected topic.’

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