An Eccumenical Option for the Church in Nigeria
The fourfold description of the Church as is found in the Constantinopolitan Creed dates back to the time of the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD, and was reaffirmed at Ephesus (431 AD) and Chalcedon (451 AD) respectively.1 This Creed subsequently has become commonly functional in the Christian Churches of both East and the West. Apparently, this creed presents a picture suggestive of uniformity of doctrine among these Churches, which when not properly considered, may conceal differences inherent in the ecclesiology of each of the Churches. Being therefore article of faith, it has to be taught and learnt, and in learning it, a process is inaugurated. This inauguration is of course a formation/an indoctrination, which involves of necessity a process of de-indoctrination. This is because, in every construction which indoctrination upholds, a deconstruction cannot but be effected as a matter of necessity, a legitimate expression of de-indoctrination. It is in this process that peculiar doctrinal tenets characteristic of each Church are furthered. It is also in this that the distinguishing quality of each Church is maintained.
Interestingly, Sullivan observes that there was a time when theological elaboration of the four marks of the Church consisted of an apologetic demonstration of the full possession of these marks by the Catholic Church as well as other Churches. An attitude of this kind, according to him, created an atmosphere of both suspicion and tension among Churches, since most Churches proudly laid claim to the possession of these marks as...