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As theologian Alfred Loisy once quipped, "Jesus came proclaiming the Kingdom, and what arrived was the Church." If nothing else gets people excited about theology, talk about the church usually does—though not always in a good way. The Nicene Creed's description of the church as "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic" seems more an exercise in wishful thinking than anything else.

Is the church a betrayal of Christianity or its proper expression? If the latter, what is the right expression of that expression? Does the church sin or only its members? Can you be a Christian without the church? After wading through a lot of ecclesiological pain, Dad and I conclude this episode with a testimony as to why we continue to "go to church."

Notes:

1. Healing Memories: Reconciling in Christ: Report of the Lutheran-Mennonite International Study Commission

2. A title so nice Dad used it twice: Luther and the Beloved Community (2010) and Beloved Community (2015)

3. Josiah Royce discusses "beloved community" in The Problem of Christianity

4. Tillich discusses "spiritual community" in vol. 3 of his Systematic Theology

5. Augustine, The City of God

6. Andy Crouch talks about singing involving love of God with heart, mind, soul, and strength in The Tech-Wise Family

8. Though I didn't mention it on the show, Charles Williams wrote a remarkable novel on the possibility of Christians bearing one another's burdens through time, Descent into Hell.

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