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‘What if We Could?’

An Essay on Productive Ecumenism

Timothy Lim T. N.

Ecumenists believe that the recent convergence text The Church: Toward a Common Vision (tcv) rides on the success of Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry (bem) and offers churches a way forward in the quest for Christian unity. This article productively imagines the future of a reconciled unity on the basis of tcv. I will use the notion of ‘productive recognition’ as a springboard to launch this image of ‘productive ecumenism’. Churches need to reframe what they have historically understood as fundamental challenges to unity. Only then can they envision ‘what if we could?’ and replace ‘but we can’t!’. This invitation expresses ecumenism in terms of confessions, sacramentalities, and the witness of the gospel.

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Recognition and Reception

Towards a Joint Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017

Timothy Lim T. N.

Recognition and reception are integral conditions for moving churches towards a fuller realization of shared unity. This article brings the 2013 Joint Working Group text Reception and the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity’s 2013 report From Conflict To Communion into dialogue with the 2017 commemoration of the Reformation with Reformed Christianity, Anabaptists, Brethren, Evangelicals, and Pentecostals. This investigation takes as its backdrop the mutual recognition and reception of churches. The paper reviews recent documents with a view to applying the reception of the quincentenary vision among these churches.