A Critical Study of Hans Küng's Ecclesiology: From by Corneliu C. Simut

By Corneliu C. Simut

The book presents the transition from traditionalism to modernism in connection to 2 of Küng's most crucial books on ecclesiology: constructions of the Church (1962) as representing Küng's conventional theology, and On Being a Christian (1974) as a mirrored image of his smooth method of Christianity.

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Extra info for A Critical Study of Hans Küng's Ecclesiology: From Traditionalism to Modernism

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Küng offers more hints at how the church can identify the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Christ and subsequently distinguish it from the spirit of man. This is vitally important because the capacity of the church to perceive the Spirit of God in opposition to the spirit of man is an indication of its holiness. The Holy Spirit will never talk about himself but always about Jesus Christ because, as plentifully shown before, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ. At this point, Küng stresses that novelty 66 has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit, in the sense that the Spirit will never bring at issue things that are new for the doctrine of the church.

This is why Küng insists on the fact that personal holiness should always be understood in connection to the theological, Christological, and pneumatological dimensions of divine holiness. Fundamentally, the church should be defined and truly is holy in opposition to the world. 30 For Küng, actions such as spreading the good news31 of the Gospel and showing love to the world are indications of the holiness of the church, but these actions cannot be done without divine assistance. 32 At this point, Küng underlines once again the pnematological dimension of church holiness in using the temple metaphor.

Thus, the Holy Spirit is the closest possible link that the church has with God and also the church’s direct authority in doctrine and practice. 44 The Spirit dwells in the church and consequently guides it precisely because it has authority over it. The life and mission of the church cannot be justified without the authority of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, the church cannot exist without the authority of the Holy Spirit. This means that the church is not able to achieve its goals in spreading the Gospel if the Spirit does not guide it.

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