Orthodoxy and Western Christianity: The Church Is Visible and One
I am convinced that the question "What is the Church?" is one of the
most important questions one can ask after "Who is Jesus Christ?"
For the Church is His Body (Ephesians 1:22-23) and "the pillar and
ground of the Truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). This means that to find the
Church is to find the fullness of Life and Truth. All other doctrinal
issues are downstream of this main issue of the Church, which is holy
and cannot err in Her teachings and rites, being preserved by the Holy
Spirit in all truth. Yet most Protestants believe in some form of an
"invisible Church" concept which is alien to Holy Orthodoxy (and Roman
Catholicism). This page addresses Protestant notions of the nature of the Church.
Church Is One, the famous essay by Alexei Khomiakov. For interaction
with his essay consult Vladimir Losskys Mystical Theology of
the Eastern Church.
The Church is Visible and One: A Critique of
Protestant Ecclesiology, by Patrick Barnes.
or the Church?, by Saint Ilarion (Troitsky), the Holy New Martyr. This is a modern classic
about the essential interrelatedness between Christianity and the Church.
His main premise: "Without the Church there is no Christianity."
Is There An Invisible
Church?, by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky. This is much more an
article on the Orthodox teaching concerning the Invisible Church and the
Communion of Saints than a defense of the Visible Church.
Where Is the
True Church? Information on Churches and Sectarianism, by Bishop Alexander Mileant.
New Testament Church, by Fr. Jon E. Braun.
the Church: A Personal Pilgrimage & the Discovery of Five Marks
of the Church, by Thomas Howard. The author is a former Anglican, turned
Roman Catholic. While we do not agree that he made the right decision,
this article may be helpful to Protestants who are seeking the Church.
Howard is a gifted writer and author, among other books, of the popular
(and recommended) Evangelical Is Not Enough: Worship of God in Liturgy
Other Quotes By the Fathers on the Visible, Unified
Church, compiled by Patrick Barnes.
On the Unity of the Catholic Church,
by St. Cyprian of Carthage.
More Articles on the Church in the General Info section of this site.