After Our Likeness: The Church As the Image of the Trinity by Miroslav Volf

By Miroslav Volf

In After Our Likeness, Miroslav Volf explores the connection among folks and group in Christian theology. He seeks to counter the traits towards individualism in Protestant ecclesiology and provides neighborhood its due.

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Ratzinger, Prinzipienlehre, 256. 156. Ratzinger, Fest, 84. 157. See Ratzinger, Prinzipienlehre, 309. 158. Ratzinger, Das neue Volk, 206, 211. 159. , 169 (my emphasis). 160. Lumen Gentium 23; cf. Ad Gentes 20. 58 If the relation to all other churches is essential for the ecclesiality of the local church, and if the bishop of Rome is essential for the unity of the church, then the bishop of Rome is also essential for the ecclesiality of individual local churches. "164 That this ecumenically so offensive thesis could come from Ratzinger's pen can surprise only those unfamiliar with his theology.

149. Ratzinger, Das neue Volk, 215. This representative function of the bishop is not to be confused with parliamentary representation. , 162). Neither, however, can the body thus represented by a bishop be an internally closed-off local church, but rather only a local church that is what it is precisely because in it the entire church is actualized. Hence the task of the bishop as representative is not "to determine the statistical mean value of the opinions of those whom he represents and then to bring these to bear in a form as chemically free as possible of his own additions"; his task is rather to represent "the common elements of the church" (Ratzinger, Das neue Volk, 162, my emphasis; cf.

Ratzinger, Volk, 146. 201. Ratzinger, Church, 20. Ratzinger has written little about the Trinity, though key passages in his argumentation do regularly contain brief references to the relations between the triune God and human beings. These references, however, reflect what closer examination confirms, namely, that all the crucial elements in his ecclesiology and entire theology are rooted in the doctrine of the Trinity. The entire life of the church, including its spirituality and structures, is shaped in correspondence to a certain understanding of the Trinity.

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