Welcome to the Spring 2019 edition of Resonance! In this volume, we explore the second theological identifier of Resonance: ecumencal. When we say we are “evangelical, ecumenical, and orthodox,” we have in mind a generous community of dialogue and learning that remains grounded in the historical foundations of the Christian church. These identifiers are the boundary markers, the banks of a wide stream that moves and flows through a variety of contexts and theologies. But what do these boundary markers mean? Specifically for this volume, what is ecumenical? What are the historical, theological, and contextual implications for affirming ecumenical engagement? What are ecumenical theological essentials? What does it mean to participate in ecumenism? What is the recent history of the ecumenical movement? Where might it be heading? Our capable contributors explore these questions and more in this volume of Resonance.
We open with Prayers of the People, composed by Corey Janz: a declaration of praise to the One Triune God who can make us one. Rachel Richardson then takes us on a journey of the eucharist, describing her diverse encounters with the Body of Christ—and all the while reminding us of the essential act of worship that binds all Christians together. Next, Jason Koon guides us through the Apostle Paul’s teachings on unity, grounded in one God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Scott Edgar then provides “Part 2” of his exploration of the persecuted church in the former Soviet Union, providing first-hand accounts of God’s faithfulness and unity in the midst of persecution and struggle. (“Part 1” can be found in Resonance vol. 4.1, Spring 2018 in our online library.) In our central Crux article, Bryan Burton winsomely captures the essence of what we mean at Resonance by “evangelical, ecumenical, and orthodox.” This “mere Christianity” is generous while maintaining deep commitments to the common teachings of the faith, not least of which affirms: Jesus Christ is Lord! Robert Cornwall then recounts his experience of seeking unity in diversity through his work in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He explores how his own church tradition has opened him up to the joy of both ecumenical collaboration and inter- faith dialogue. Next, Gary Stokes takes us back into the New Testament for continued study on Christian unity, this time with a focus on the unifying work of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts. Karen Wilk then describes the life-giving work of ecumenism right in her own neighborhood, calling us to practice the love-of-neighbor that we so often preach. The volume concludes with original song lyrics from City Psalms. Entitled Branches, the song affirms our connection to the one Vine, inviting us to live in the unity and grace of our one Lord Jesus Christ.
In this volume we are again including a Learning Guide in the back pages, with discussion questions and calls for action that accompany each article. Use these for small group discussions or for generating conversation with friends, family, and colleagues. Our goal for Resonance is to facilitate learning and community—and we cannot do that without your help. Please share Resonance with your networks and communities. Remember, digital subscriptions are free! Please also consider contributing an article, prayer, poem, song, or other artwork in an upcoming volume. We love to grow our community by including diverse perspectives and contributions.
Enjoy the conversation!
Dr. Brant Himes