Carl Braaten here issues an energetic call for a truly ecumenical
church, including a Lutheran rationale for
recovery of the historical episcopacy and papal primacy as servants
of the gospel.
Quoting Augustine's dictum that "You cannot
have God for your father unless you have the church for
your mother," Braaten writes of the church's place in the divine
scheme of things and of the various
modernisms that distort or hide the classical Christian tradition.
Tracing his own ecumenical journey, he
outlines an ecclesiology of communion and advances specific proposals
for enhancing Christian unity in
liturgy, spirituality, and church polity. The confessing movement
named after Martin Luther he views in
terms of its basic intent to reform and renew the church, not to
start a new Christianity in a multiplicity of
Vigorous, provocative, well and
clearly argued, Braaten's case is a formidable and timely
the ecumenical debate.