Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Church Body

From Lumen Gentium:

8. Christ, the one Mediator, established and continually sustains here on earth His holy Church, the community of faith, hope and charity, as an entity with visible delineation through which He communicated truth and grace to all. But, the society structured with hierarchical organs and the Mystical Body of Christ, are not to be considered as two realities, nor are the visible assembly and the spiritual community, nor the earthly Church and the Church enriched with heavenly things; rather they form one complex reality which coalesces from a divine and a human element. For this reason, by no weak analogy, it is compared to the mystery of the incarnate Word. As the assumed nature inseparably united to Him, serves the divine Word as a living organ of salvation, so, in a similar way, does the visible social structure of the Church serve the Spirit of Christ, who vivifies it, in the building up of the body (cf Eph 4:16).

1 comment:

tdunbar said...

ecclesial stats:

Re post #3, here's more detail on approximate numbers (to be taken with salt, data from Wikipedia):

# Catholicism - 1116 million
# Protestantism - 590 million
* Historical Protestantism - 340 million
o Baptist churches - 110 million
o Calvinist churches - 75 million
o Methodism - 75 million
o Lutheranism - 70 million
* Pentecostalism - 105 million (Estimates vary widely)
o Assemblies of God - 51 million
o New Apostolic Church - 11 million
o Kimbanguist Church - 8 million
o Church of God in Christ - 7 million
* Restorationism - 30 million
o Seventh-day Adventists - 14 million
o Latter-day Saints - More than 13 million
o Restoration Movement - 4 million
* Nontrinitarianism - 10 million
# Eastern Orthodoxy - 225 million
# Anglicanism - 73 million