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Karl Barth and the Importance of Thinking Theologically within the Nicene Faith

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image of Ecclesiology

This article argues that if Catholic and Protestant theologians, prompted by the Holy Spirit, allowed their common faith in God as confessed in the Nicene Creed to shape their thinking and action, this could lead to more visible unity between them. Relying on Barth, the article suggests that the oneness, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity of the church can be understood best in faith that allows the unique object of faith, namely God incarnate in Christ and active in his Spirit, to dictate one’s understanding. Such thinking will avoid the pluralist tendency to eviscerate Christ’s uniqueness and attempts to equate church unity with aspects of the church’s visible existence. These approaches tend to undermine the importance of faith in recognizing that such unity means union with Christ through the Spirit such that it cannot be equated with or perceived by examining only its historical existence in itself and in relation to other communities of faith.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Theology and Religious Studies, St. John’s University, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Queens, ny 11439, USA,


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