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An Ecclesiological Exploration of the Four Marks of the Church

An Eccumenical Option for the Church in Nigeria

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Philip Chika Omenukwa

The vibrancy of faith and the fast growth of different churches in Nigeria seem to obscure the reality of some precarious historical challenges that call for crucial and genuine ecclesiological inquiry. The Nigerian Church’s unique history loaded with various facets of indoctrination and the peculiarities of her constituents demands an urgent ecclesial and theological attention. Following an exploratory, analytical, critical and historical methodology, this book finds Francis Alfred Sullivan’s explication of the intricate nuances of the Four Marks of the Church as a fitting ecumenical model for the Nigerian ecclesial situation. It delves into this model and presents the findings through a catechetical prism as an alternative for effective and sustainable de-indoctrination. The author also finds dialogue as a probable effective tool for de-indoctrination, but also acknowledges that legitimate ecclesiological dialogue does not rule out difficulties in the process. He therefore argues that the consciousness of the ecumenical worth of the Four Marks of the Church as well as faithfulness to the principles of dialogue will lead to the resolution of much of these differences.
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Chapter Four: Nigeria and the Birth of Christianity within Her Geographical Confines

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Chapter FourNigeria and the Birth of Christianity within Her Geographical Confines

Introduction

Aware that the terrain upon which our ecumenical recommendations are going to be explored border on the geographical location that is Nigeria, a brief discourse of its geographical setting, peoples, culture, religion and traditional life patterns ought to be considered necessary at this point. This is because, to be a people and to be described as such, some form of uniqueness that characteristically determines the particular people historically, geographically and otherwise under study ought not to be neglected. This, points to a possession of an awareness of a people’s life and worldview.

The singular reason for an excursus in this direction grounds itself on its supposed judgement as being of primary importance for a better understanding of our future discussions and applications of our ecumenical postulations. My conviction is that a step in this direction, offers us a better opportunity of coming to acquaintance with the concrete ecclesiological situation of the Church in Nigeria, as well as the challenges and problems posed both by the absence of, or even the presence of ecumenical initiatives. Nigeria is a country in which her politico-social life often intermingles with her religious inclinations. This existential reality about Nigeria as a nation ought not to be neglected in any discourse of her constitutive identity.

However, suffice it to mention that the entire work cannot in anyway be reduced to an ethno-geographical research or to a...

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