Expression of the Incarnation

Owned by Partial Essay

A Patristic Interpretation of Understanding the Universal Church as an Innate Expression of the Incarnation

The mid eighteenth century was a pivotal time in the development of the modern Episcopal church. Many church leaders were asking members, and other clergy, to accept a switch from the way doctrine was presented (Guarino, 2006.) This change had its foundations in the very beginnings of church teaching, and the switch was said to be a more honest approach (Kannengiesser, 2004.) This was construed because the Episcopal leadership believed that the teachings of Christ called for a more universal understanding of what was meant by "church." Including other denominations, while maintaining the sanctity of unique belief, was the goal (Guarino, 2006.)
Many priests and bishops of the Episcopal church fought for unity among the orthodoxies, Romans, and Anglicans. In 1876 James de Koven said:

            "I desire to call your attention is that the distinctive doctrines of the Church are not as definitely and positively proclaimed as they ought to be. Between the Roman Church on the one hand, which declares herself to be the one Catholic Church of Christ, to the exclusion of all others, and the various orthodox and unorthodox denominations which claim to preach Christ to the world, I do not know  reason our Church has to exist, except it be, on the one hand, that she is the American branch of the Catholic Church, and on the other that, because she is so, she can do what no other Christian body can accomplish"

The Church as a whole has a universal goal and that the common interest is to: administer the sacraments—sacraments which profess to be a reality: a Baptism which regenerates, a Holy Eucharist which gives the threefold blessing of the presence of Christ by means of the sacramental presence of His human nature, of the pleading of the one sacrifice once offered by virtue of that presence, of union    Christ resulting there from to the believer; to train up children with true Christian training; to preach the Gospel to sinners, and to have power to bind and to loose, in the name of God and by His commission, the sin-stricken soul; in an age of materialism to present the supernatural world, with all its hidden powers, to the acceptance of mankind; to preach chastity, honor, honesty, family life, and patriotic earnestness to the people; to visit the sick, to clothe the naked, to comfort prisoners, to soothe the dying, and to bear witness to the invisible bonds which             bind the living and the dead in one Communion (de Koven, 1876.)

This sermon like many others of the time was a call to a unified message of the church as a whole. The message foretold the coming movements seen in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral and the Reformed Episcopalian movement.