Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Marks of the Church
The Reformed tradition points to three marks of the church:  word,  sacraments (baptism and the Lord's supper), and  discipline.
By contrast, here is a quote from an Anglican tract pointing to four marks of the church:  faith,  ministry,  word, and  sacraments (baptism and the Lord's supper as those "of the Gospel," as well as five that are "commonly called sacraments"):
From the teachings of our Lord, and the practice of the first Christians, we learn four basic characteristics of the historic Church: Faith - Trinitarian formula, gradually taking permanent form in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds; Ministry - Bishops, Priests, and Deacons in a direct line of succession from the Apostles; Bible - Old Testament entire, plus the traditions of Christ, soon written in book of the New Testament; Sacraments - Two "of the Gospel": Baptism in water and Communion in bread and wine. (Also five "commonly called sacraments": Confirmation, Orders, Matrimony, Penance, and Unction.)From "A Chart of Church History," originally prepared by the Rev Dr Victor Hoag, updated 1990, Morehouse Publishing.
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