Douglas Jones on Ecumenism

From here.

Rationalism assumes that goodness flows from getting our ideas in order, but that seems to get the biblical reality reversed. Intellectual agreement seems to be a symptom of doing goodness and beauty. If each communion led first with doing the good and the beautiful instead of just thinking about it (my tradition), then the intellectual ecumenism would seem to flow much more easily. Intellectual agreement assumes a context of trust and good will. It would seem more profitable for each communion to expend its efforts in the short term (meaning over the next two centuries) showing the ugliness of modernity, individualism, egalitarianism, unitarianism by contrast with our mature, healthy Christian communities (“Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people” [Deut. 4:6]). If we were all better at provoking the non-Christian world to jealousy for Triune goodness and beauty, then we would have much less problem using the sort of model proposed to unite more intellectually. But we don’t want to assume a thin rationalism to fight Rationalism. That’s playing by their rules.

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