WHAT IS THE STONE-CAMPBELL MOVEMENT OR CHURCH OF CHRIST?

The Churches of Christ and the Stone-Campbell movement constitute a definable theological tradition that has its own special identity. This identity functions with its own set of distinguishing characteristics in much the same way as the Lutheran, Reformed or Pentecostal families of communions. As a fellowship seeking to restore the common faith of the ancient church as a basis for the unification of all Christians, Churches of Christ stand or fall on their ecclesiology. In this context Churches of Christ should not view themselves as part of the Evangelical movement since Evangelicalism (at least in its American iteration) has no coherent doctrine of the church. At the heart of the ecclesiology of Churches of Christ stands the rite of believer’s baptism for the forgiveness of sins and weekly observance of the Lord’s Supper where one regularly continues to claim the benefits of the expiatory sacrifice of Christ. In short, by pursuing this ‘third way’ between Evangelicalism and the high sacramental traditions of Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy, one best represents the direction to genuine recovery of the biblical insights into the nature of the church. 

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