Schaf insists that Protestantism earns its right to exist only for as long as we offer to the rest of the Church significant correction in areas that need it. A sect, if we are willing to admit the title, “loses its right to exist, in the same degree in which the body from which it is a secession has corrected the faults that led to it… If sects would be true to themselves, they must as soon as they have fulfilled their commission unite themselves again with the general life of the Church, that they may thus as organic members of the body acquire new vital energy; and the Church, on her side, should make special efforts to gather once more under her motherly protection and care, the children that have forsaken her and are now estranged from her bosom. To this duty the Reformed Church is specially called, as the largest part of these modern separatist movements have sprung from her communion.” (134-135)
Steven W says
Don’t you think that it is here that the Reformed doctrine of universal priesthood as well as the assertion that the local church is the catholic church is a helpful corrective to Mercersburg?
What would “going back” even mean? It would at least admit that Rome was the true center of unity and “organic” Christianity, something that should not be granted.