Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Advantages of Bishops

It may however be pointed out that the catholic system of church order is such that its emphasis upon the institution of the church, with its associated ecclesiastical apparatus, means that a prolonged period of spiritual mediocrity or even decline can be sustained without undue damage, to await spiritual renewal and regeneration at a future date. If the lifeblood of the Christian faith appeared to cease to flow through her veins, at least the church was able to retain her outward structures for the day when renewed spiritual fervour would revitalise her, raising her form her knees and propelling her forward to meet the challenges and opportunities of a new age.
Alister McGrath, Luther's Theology of the Cross

And yes, I've been reading about Luther recently...

2 comments:

Simon said...

means that a prolonged period of spiritual mediocrity or even decline can be sustained without undue damage

Well, so long as you have enough enthusiasts to become new bishops when the old ones die, which is what tends to happen in a "prolonged period". You've got to get your enthusiasts from somewhere. If things are so bad that you can't fill your seminaries, then what?

John said...

Import them from Poland / Ireland / Uganda?