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Brent A. Rempel

Abstract

This essay offers an extended treatment of the trinitarian principles in the theology of the seventeenth-century English conformist Richard Sibbes (1577–1635). Sibbes established an asymmetrical ontological relationship between the eternal triune processions and the economic missions, wherein God’s immanent life of Father, Son, and Spirit constitutes God’s outward acts. The ad intra ordering—from the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit—governs the economic missions of the Son and Holy Spirit. This trinitarian taxis, moreover, funds Sibbes’s creative pneumatology. The Holy Spirit’s eternal procession from the Father and the Son uniquely shapes the Spirit’s ad extra operations in unition, sanctification, and assurance. The Spirit eternally indwells the breast of the Father and Son and, as such, is supremely fit to witness to their eternal love among the saints. In Sibbes’s affectionate theology, God’s triune life serves as an anchor and repository for soteriological reflection.

The Church as a Dynamic Field of Priestly, Prophetic and Diaconal Tension

A Proposal for a Practical Ecclesiology Based on the Latin American Example

Jakob Egeris Thorsen PhD

On the background of sociological and theological analyses of the transformations of the religious field and of the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America, this article sketches a proposal for a practical ecclesiology. This ecclesiology understands the church as a dynamic field of tension between priestly, prophetic and diaconal expressions. These fundamental expressions of the church parallel Christ’s threefold role as King, high priest and prophet. Combining P. Bourdieu’s theory of the religious field with N. M. Healy’s call for a practical-prophetical ecclesiology, the article argues that the changes in the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America can be understood as a re-articulation of the church’s prophetic and diaconal dimensions. The apparent disorder and tension hereby created can in fact be the starting point for a constructive, practical ecclesiology, which is able to make sense of the often disharmonious character of ecclesial life.