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 Hendrik Kraemer Quotes
6 Famous Quotes by Hendrik Kraemer

Commemoration of Cecile Isherwood, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, Grahamstown, South Africa, 1906 Most Christians live in confusion in regard to their scales of values and priorities. Many honest Christian people experience the shock of a revelation when they are brought to realize that their membership of the Church constitutes a loyalty prior to their loyalty to the nation to which they belong. Patriotism is one of the powerful underground pseudo-religions of to-day, not merely nationalism. The fundamental notion that the Christians are a "peculiar people" that never is identical, or even can be, with a people in the biological, national sense of the word, is largely asleep. It can only become awake by a new grasp of the biblical truth that the Church is the "people of God", an elect race composed of people out of all nations, transcending all nations and races.

Christianity Quotes, by Hendrik Kraemer

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The underlying questions are always: What is the Church? What is the Church for? If that is not kept in mind, the lay ministry, about which so much is being said at present, remains on the level of a many-sided activity in which the self-assertion of the laity threatens to be more evident than a new manifestation of the Church in modern society. The responsible participation of the laity in the discharge of the Church's divine calling is not primarily a matter of idealism and enthusiasm or organizational efficiency, but a new grasp and commitment to the meaning of God's redemptive purpose with mankind and with the world in the past, the present, and the future: a purpose which has its foundation and inexhaustible content in Christ.

Christianity Quotes, by Hendrik Kraemer

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In all our criticism and near-despair of the institutional Church, it should never be forgotten that many powers and possibilities really exist in it, but often in captivity; they exist as frozen credits and dead capital.

Christianity Quotes, by Hendrik Kraemer

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Continuing a series on the church: By God's grace we live in a time of rediscovery of the Church and of the wholeness of the Church. We see more clearly than often has been the case that ecclesiology and christology are one. The ekklesia, the community of believers, has as its first and foremost qualification that it is that community which, as community, belongs to Christ and is in Christ, and as such is the sphere of God's salvation, redemption, and reconciliation, and of Christ's rulership. This is the archetypal reality of the Church. To see and seize this essential point is a great blessing. This blessing, however, could as well become a curse, if it remained a theme of theological meditation and self-contemplation. This new knowledge is not real knowledge if it is not accompanied by a horror about the alienation of the empirical Church from its own fundamental reality and by a deep longing for a tangible manifestation of the Church's true nature. This horror and this longing are the deeper motives which are operating in many of the events and passionate discussions around the place and responsibility of the laity as an organic part of the Church.

Christianity Quotes, by Hendrik Kraemer

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Commemoration of Samuel Seabury, First Anglican Bishop in North America, 1796 If one thing is clear as soon as the Church becomes serious about its missionary and ministerial calling for the world, it is that two difficult roads in particular have to be trodden: first, the road towards overcoming the scantiness of its knowledge of the world of today, and its ignoring of what really goes on in the world under its surface; secondly, the road towards reforming its spirit, atmosphere, and inherited structure, in so far as they give no room for new vitality... What can and must be said and resaid, with all gratitude for what in many places is already happening, is that a fearless scrutiny and revision of structure is one of the most urgent aspects of a renewal of the Church.

Christianity Quotes, by Hendrik Kraemer

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One of the heritages from history which prevents us so often from seeing the Church, with all its greatness and misery, in its true light, is the distinction between the "empirical" and the "ideal" Church. It is to such a degree an element of our thinking that we hardly notice it. It has been since the first centuries a standard view, a means to give account of the, indeed, often disappointing state and quality of Christian faith and practice in the Church as it appeared. As such it is understandable; but nevertheless it proceeds more from the counsels of worldly wisdom than from the faith-as-response by which the Church should live, and the call to incessant renewal under which the Church stands as "God's own household", "growing into a holy temple in the Lord". However stubborn and refractory the stuff of ordinary reality may be -- and it is -- the Church, though with clear realism seeing this reality, can never permit itself to put the divine indicatives and imperatives, which are her peculiar directives and points of orientation, behind considerations which are properly speaking worldly in character.

Christianity Quotes, by Hendrik Kraemer

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