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The Divine-Human Communion

An Outline of Catholic Integral Ecclesiology

Andrzej Napiorkówski

This book contains a methodological fundamental-dogmatic study, which frames a comprehensive overview of the Church in the light of reason and faith. The understanding of the Church in the history of Christianity was – and still is – a subject of numerous misunderstandings, either among the believers themselves or those who observe it from the outside. Presenting the post-conciliar approach of the integral ecclesiology, the author puts a stronger emphasis on biblical origins and nature of the Church and on the split between the synagogue and the young community of followers of Jesus Christ. He expands the hallmarks of the Church from the usual four to five (Marianity) and displays a growing communio in practice and in ecclesial self-awareness.
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5. The Biblical Origins and Nature of the Church


5.  The Biblical Origins and Nature of the Church

The question of the Church’s origins is the proper starting point of ecclesiology. Since the very existence of the Church results from the dynamic of God’s saving activity in history, one must reach for the biblical (Old and New Testament) evidence and examine it in the light of the Church’s coming into being. The Ecclesia cannot be explained apart from the working out of God’s redemptive plan in history, and that necessitates an integral look at what happened at the dawn of humanity, together with what has taken place in human history, what is being presently accomplished and what will come to pass in the future. And while allowances need to be made for the limitations of time and space in respect of human beings, one should not neglect to look at God’s existence and activity in both time and eternity. Therefore any attempt at a full reconstruction of the picture of the Church will naturally consider its pre-existence in the mind of God, its constitution and development through Old Testament times, its elevation from the plane of socio-religious-institution to that of spiritual entity (the ‘remnant’78 through grace), to the revelation of its fullness in Jesus Christ.

5.1  The Church in the Divine Plan of Salvation

The mystery of the Church originates in the mind of God since it is he who creates, calls, provides and redeems, who is its First Cause. God the Father...

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