New Social Wholeness

The church is then not simply the bearer of the message of reconciliation, in the way a newspaper or a telephone company can bear any message with which it is entrusted. Nor is the church simply the result of a message, as an alumni association is the product of a school or the crowd in the theater is the product of the reputation of the film. That men are called together to a new social wholeness is itself the work of God which gives meaning to history, from which both personal conversion (whereby individuals are called into this meaning) and missionary instrumentalities are derived (John Howard Yoder, “A People in the World: Theological Interpretation,” in James L. Garrett, Jr., The Concept of the Believers’ Church (Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1969) 258.

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