The Church – Visible and Invisible?

The Church – Visible and Invisible?

Respond to the assignment in this week’s Dialogue (Group Discussion) area in Blackboard.

The doctrine of the “invisible church” was first developed by Augustine, which meant to differentiate between those who are genuine Christians and those who are Christian in name only. Lane writes that Augustine’s view included the concept that “we cannot distinguish the true from the false. It is God alone who can read the human heart and who knows who are his. Thus the boundaries of the true church are invisible, known to God alone. Augustine distinguished between the visible church (the outward organization) and the invisible church (the body of true Christians), seen only by God” (Lane, p. 50).

  • Following your reflection on Augustine’s perspective on the invisible and visible church (both in Lane and other sources), briefly elucidate how this view helps (or does not help) to explain the (sometimes radical) differences in individual belief and practice evident within a single Christian denomination, congregation, or fellowship.
  • Also, tell how Augustine’s view might relate to Jesus’ parable about the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13:24-30.
  • Finally, explain how Jesus’ parable and/or Augustine’s doctrine might be helpful in thinking about and participating in the life of a Christian denomination, congregation, or fellowship.

1) 200 – 300 Words

2) APA Format

3) 2 of the text books must be used

  • A Concise History of Christian Thought, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006), Tony Lane (ISBN-10: 0801031591; ISBN-13: 9780801031595).
  • Pocket History of the Christian Church (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), D. Jeffrey Bingham (ISBN-10: 0830827013; ISBN-13: 9780830827015).
  • Readings in Christian Thought, 2d ed. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1990), Hugh Kerr (ISBN-10: 0687355478; ISBN-13: 9780687355471).

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