Original Research

To cross ten seas: Calvin on the unity of the church – a contribution to a more responsible ecclesiology

J.H. van Wyk
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 44, No 2 | a148 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v44i2.148 | © 2010 J.H. van Wyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 July 2010 | Published: 25 July 2010

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J.H. van Wyk, Researcher: School for Ecclesiology, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa

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As far as ecclesiology is concerned, Calvin experienced a great dilemma during his lifetime. On the one hand, there was the clear teaching of Scripture on the unity of the church of Christ, as confirmed by the great church father Augustine. On the other hand, a separation from the Catholic Church of the sixteenth century was unavoidable. Calvin wrestled intensely with this problem and tried to adhere to biblical teaching on unity. He was disappointed that the Protestant churches distanced them-selves from the theme of unity and declared himself willing to cross ten seas in order to recapture this unity. This leaves us with the question to what extent the reformational churches today take the (visible) unity of the church of Christ seriously.


Calvin; Disunity; Ecumenicity; Unity Church


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