Emil Brunner on the Nature of the Church

“In the last 50 or 100 years New Testament research has unremittingly and successfully addressed itself to the task of elucidating for us what was known as the „Ecclesia‟ in primitive Christianity—so very different from what is to-day called the church both in Roman and Protestant camps. . . . This insight—which an unprejudiced study of the New Testament and the crying need of the church have helped us to reach—may be expressed as follows: the New Testament „Ecclesia,‟ the fellowship of Jesus Christ, is a pure communion of persons and has nothing to do with the character of an institution about it; it is therefore misleading to identify any single one of the historically developed churches, which are all marked by an institutional character, with the true Christian communion.”

Emil Brunner

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