Visible Church- Visible Unity: Third Book in Unitas series
Chris has posted an excellent challenge, and to begin with, I refer him to Ola Tjørhom's Visible Church- Visible Unity , the best representative for the trend in my own thinking that I could possibly refer him to. I don't believe this is a cop out. I'll also reply "in my own words", but Ola has made a beautiful start.
Here's a summary:
"Visible Church—Visible Unity
Ecumenical Ecclesiology and “The Great Tradition of the Church”
Ola Tjørhom; foreword by Geoffrey Wainwright
In Visible Church—Visible Unity Ola Tjørhom explores central questions in current ecclesiological and ecumenical debates from the perspective of an evangelical catholicity of “the Great Tradition of the Church.” Tjørhom shows how the fundamental visibility of the Church and the similarly visible nature of Church fellowship is a corrective cover against “invisible” perceptions of these entities. This theme of visibility is developed in view of the sacraments, the ministries, and the mission of the Church.
Visible Church—Visible Unity includes “Chapter 1: Toward the End of the Reformation Project? The Riddle of Protestantism,” “Chapter 2: ‘The Great Tradition of the Church’—An Old Way Forward?” “Chapter 3: The Church—Mother of Faith and Priest of Creation,” “Chapter 4: The Goal of Visible Unity—Reaffirming Our Commitment,” and “Chapter 5: Life in the Spirit—Toward a ‘Materialist’ Spirituality.”
Ola Tjørhom, D.Th., currently serves as professor of dogmatics and ecumenical theology at the School of Mission and Theology in Stavanger, Norway. Previously he has been a research professor at the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, director of the Nordic Ecumenical Institute, and researcher at the Norwegian Foundation for Humanistic Research. His previous publications include several contributions on ecumenism, ecclesiology, and sacramental theology.
"Have the Reformation churches remained true to their original insights about renewal, or have the twin threats of liberalism and pietism led them to settle for a ‘mere Protestantism’? Ola Tjørhom dares not only to ask this uncomfortable question, but to suggest a concrete alternative: closer attention to the ‘Great Tradition’ of the Church. He accomplishes this without lapsing into nostalgia (all too common in the invocation of this concept) and in an ecumenically sensitive way. And he traces the concrete ecclesiological and sacramental consequences in a way that make this book an important study for Christians of every stripe."
David S. Cunningham, Professor of Religion, Hope College"