GLORY BE TO JESUS CHRIST – GLORY BE FOREVER!
Explore This Site and CATCH THE VISION of the Holy Trinity of Love and His Plan for His Adopted Family the Church
Hallelujah! Love Rules the Universe!
Not adopted into God’s Family yet? Click here for GOOD NEWS for Non-Christians – YOU were MADE to be Drenched in LOVE!
“Donum Veritatis – The Gift of Truth Ministries with its Christian Unity in Diversity Central website …
… is a ‘gift’ to the ‘Internet Generation.’ ”
— Church Historian and Author Dr. Alan Schreck, Professor and Long-Time Theology Chair, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Donum Veritatis – The Gift of Truth Ministries and The Institute for Promoting the Gift of Truth, in cooperation with Château Baptiste Publications
CHRISTIAN UNITY IN DIVERSITY CENTRAL
Helping Today’s Divided Christians to Think about Christian Unity as the Undivided Early Church of the First Millennium Lived It (Unity in Diversity never Uniformity), So That the 3rd Millennium Church Can Become a Better Witness of Jesus’ Love to the World Which Needs to Know Him
featuring the writing of Peter William John Baptiste, SFO
(saying with his namesake John the Baptist, “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord,” prepare the way of the Lord Jesus whose only explicit command was this:)
“A new command I give you: Love one another … By this all men will know that you are [Christians], if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). Jesus prayed to His Father “that all [Christians] may be one … so that the world may believe that You have sent me … May [Christians] be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent me and have loved them even as You have loved me.” (John 17:21,23)
Jesus’ Prayer for Christian Unity Obligates All Christians to Seek Unity in Love with Each Other “So That the World May Believe” in Jesus When it Sees Our Love for “One Another”
After the 1st Millennium of Christian Unity, followed by the 2nd Millennium of Christian divisions, in the love and power of the Holy Spirit let us make this the 3rd Millennium of Christian Reunification, “so that the world may believe” when it sees our “love for one another”
“MAKE EVERY EFFORT to keep the UNITY OF THE SPIRIT through the bond of peace. There is ONE BODY and ONE SPIRIT — just as you were called to ONE HOPE when you were called— one Lord, ONE FAITH, one baptism; ONE GOD AND FATHER OF ALL, who is over all and through all and in all. ” (Ephesians 4:3–6)
“Ecumenism is not a Catholic or Protestant [or Orthodox] movement, but a single Christian movement. Each Church is asked by the Spirit to contribute its share of good will to bring about that full invisible and visible unity that Christ willed for His Church . . . Ecumenism is a movement of the spirit. That is why it aims first of all at a spiritual renewal within the churches. The common objective that all Christians, of whatever denomination seek, is to approach nearer to Christ, to understand and live His teachings. It is in Christ and through Christ alone that Christians will find true unity.”
– from Christian Life and the Modern World, © Knights of Columbus 1967
Some Site Highlights:
Much material (including 4 hyper-linked books) is already available on over 100 web pages on this site. You can already…
Explore this site to discover the “golden threads” which tie together into one coherent whole the essential Christian doctrines (especially the Trinity); the entire text of both Testaments of the Bible; the entirety of Christian history to the present day (including Christian failures and divisions as God slowly and patiently leads His Church to greater maturity in love); and the 21st Ecumenical Council’s Ecclesiology which lays the groundwork for reestablishing the Undivided Early Church’s First Millennium unity in diversity.
… However, as the Institute is growing
THIS SITE IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION
So, COME BACK OFTEN
for more educational, motivational and inspirational content,
more useful links,
and eventually a FORUM for Christians worldwide actually dialoguing together lovingly about what already unites them and what for the moment separates them, so they can together gradually clear up misunderstandings and eventually come to mutually agreed-on resolutions to current disputes so as to actively build unity on this website “so that the world may believe” in Jesus Christ our Head when it sees our love for each other as His Body on Earth the Church despite our differences).
The books and essays and so on on this website are copyrighted intellectual property made available for ministry purposes according to the Mission Statement and its expressed desire To Help Equip Christians to Build God’s Family and Kingdom (including building the Kingdom through engaging in loving ecumenical dialogue over the many suggestions on this website). All are free to view, print or pass on unaltered, citing the source of the print-outs or any quotations (Peter William John Baptiste SFO or the Christian Unity in Diversity Central Website at http://christian-unity-in-diversity.ourchur.ch), so they can be looked up in context.
Note on Footnotes
[*“Under Construction” Note- throughout the Site footnotes can be accessed by scrolling to the bottom of the page; for now clicking the footnote links takes you out of the Site instead of directly to the footnote. Many of the footnotes contain much relevant or fascinating supplemental information and are worth scrolling down for]
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Pray to Catch the Vision as You Explore
As you explore this website, pray that you will CATCH THE VISION God has given the founder of a really possible (long-term) Christian Reunification, as Jesus prayed for “so that the world may believe” (our loving unity helping transform the world with Jesus’ Love), through both prayer and education: 1) through respecting and using the POWER of our prayers because we are members of the very Body of Christ Himself (see Pray!); and 2) through education (such as that provided in the books published on this website) helping us see how Covenant Family Theology (a Biblical and Systematic Theology which will revolutionize your Bible reading, and make the Scriptures come alive as your Family History) makes plain the “golden threads,” the strong links between:
1. the very nature of God the Holy Trinity of Love who is the primordial Trinitarian Family (Father, Son and Holy Spirit – parenthood, childhood, and the fruitful love which binds them in one Godhead) and
2. the full Biblical history in both Testaments in which God the Trinitarian Family of Love bound Himself in love to humanity when He patiently raised humanity through six Biblical adoptive (family-making) Covenants (with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus Christ) culminating in the current New Covenant Christian Church which is preparing us for the 7th, final, Eternal Family Covenant of the Kingdom of Heaven with its “new heavens and new earth;” and
3. Christian history since the Biblical record ended, which continues the same Biblical patterns of God slowly and patiently raising His latest Covenant Family to only gradually ever-greater maturity in love, a back-and-forth process in which the New Covenant Family (as the Old in the brief United Kingdom of Israel) had initial success in the Undivided Early Church but lost it due to immaturity in love which (as in the 0lder Covenants) led to divisions which were expected by God the Father in His divinely patient process of raising His Covenant children to full maturity in love (therefore our current, scandalous, divisions as Christians, which presently hamper our effectiveness in building God’s Family and Kingdom because when we are divided the world then cannot see our Christian “love for one another” which Jesus said was the way people would recognize His disciples, divisions which began long in the past when we were more immature in love, were expected by God as part of His process of patiently raising us as His family towards our full maturity in love, such that we need not overly regret them nor dwell on them, though we most definitely need to “grow up” and move beyond them); and
4. makes plain how the 21st Ecumenical Council (Vatican II)’s little-known but exceptional ecclesiology (understanding of the Church) based on the Undivided Early Church’s lived reality LAID THE GROUNDWORK for a future genuine and fruitful Church reunification as Jesus prayed for “so that the world may believe,” although both Catholic Christians and non-Catholic Christians (those no longer within the Catholic (Universal) Christian Communion of Orthodox Christian Sister Churches of East and West which in the Undivided Early Church called itself simply the Catholic Church) need to really learn this Early Church ecclesiology of “unity in diversity” before this Council can bear the full fruit of reunification.
Please note that this wonderful Vatican II ecclesiology itself, which captures the lived reality of the Undivided First Millennium Church, is not simply a Catholic creation but was developed by the Vatican II Council Fathers (not only majority Roman Catholic overseers/bishops but also Eastern Catholic overseers/bishops within the truly Catholic [Greek for Universal, not just Roman] Church Communion of East and West) with the aid of Eastern Orthodox and (Western) Protestant/Evangelical perspectives, considering what things each may have preserved better from the Undivided Early Church which belong in the Catholic Communion. Vatican II (1962-65) took place in the context of a fruitful formal “Dialogue of Love” between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches begun earlier, in 1958, which since 1982 has very fruitfully clarified and developed Vatican II’s ecclesiology towards healing the First “Great Schism” of Christianity, between the Catholic and Orthodox Church Communions, which set the bad precedent and bad tone (“unity equals uniformity”) for the later Second Millennium Church divisions, especially the Protestant Reformation (more on this East/West dialogue below in the following paragraph), and it also took into serious consideration the legitimate concerns of the Protestant Reformation (many Protestant representatives attending Vatican II as observers by Catholic Church invitation). More than this, the premier Protestant Early Church scholar of the 19th Century, John Henry Newman, who had personal experience in all the major forms of Protestant Christianity, not just Anglicanism, took with him into the Catholic Church the many benefits of his Protestant experience (especially the fact that the Protestant Churches have better preserved the Undivided Early Church’s love of the Bible and Bible reading, and evangelical zeal, than the Catholic and Orthodox Churches of his time and after have. The Early Church Fathers who Catholic and Orthodox Christians revere as Saints and Doctors loved the Bible and were saturated with it in ways only Protestant Christians have been for centuries, though this is changing since Vatican II). Newman became Catholic and then became “Cardinal Newman,” and, more recently, “Blessed Cardinal Newman,” well on his way to being canonized as a Catholic Saint (and Doctor), and he has been sometimes called “the Father of Vatican II” because his exceptional theology and unparalleled Early Church knowledge was incorporated into Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitutions and general teaching in a way no other scholar and theologian’s was. While still a Protestant Newman predicted the crisis within Protestantism of widespread “doctrinal liberalism” and falling into unorthodoxy, often repeating the errors of the Early Church heretics (who he had studied in an unparalleled way), which has actually happened since within Protestantism, the largest streams of the oldest and largest Protestant denominations in fact since becoming “doctrinally liberal,” doubting or denying essentials of traditional, orthodox Christian faith like the Divinity of Jesus, as Newman predicted would happen because of certain things from the Undivided Early Church which were lost in the Protestant Reformation which are preserved in the Catholic Church Communion (almost all of them also in the Orthodox Church Communion) – even though the Protestant churches did indeed better preserve the Undivided Early Church’s love of Scripture and Bible reading, and Newman, through his great contributions to Vatican II, has helped the beginning of the restoration of this Early Church characteristic within the huge Catholic Church (It should be clear from this that each of the major branches of Christianity has better preserved certain aspects and characteristics of the Undivided Early Church, and thus we need to learn from each other if any of us are to be all we were meant to be, and restore what was lost since the First Millennium when the Undivided Church transformed the whole ancient pagan world with the love of Jesus). Newman’s personal solution to this great problem within Protestantism he predicted which has since actually happened was to become Catholic himself, but both before and after doing so, he saw that the Catholic Church of his time still needed much reform if it was to truly and effectively “reform” itself to be the most like the Undivided Early Church which he, as likely the greatest Early Church scholar in history, knew better than anyone else. Thus, as a Catholic Christian, he left a superb body of teaching to help the Catholic Church become all it once was and all it was meant to be. And the Catholic Church embraced his teaching in his own lifetime by making him a Cardinal, one of the select few Catholic overseers/bishops who advise and elect the Pope. After his death, the Catholic Church further embraced his teaching, so much enriched by his Protestant upbringing, by declaring him “Venerable,” the first step to being acknowledged as a Catholic Saint, and more recently the Catholic Church further progressed him towards this by declaring him “Blessed” Cardinal John Henry Newman. The Catholic and Protestant Churches have been growing gradually closer together since the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation of the 16th Century. The Catholic Church has been giving ever greater primacy to the Bible because of the legitmate Protestant emphasis on Scripture which echoes the Early Church’s emphasis on and constant use of Scripture by the Early Church Fathers. Similarly the Protestant Churches, because of the massive problem of the gradual loss of even basic Christian orthodoxy like the Divinity of Jesus within the oldest and largest Protestant “mainline” denominations (as Newman predicted), has become more open to accepting the need to also acknowledge some form of the Living Sacred Tradition of the Life of the Holy Spirit Jesus promised guiding the Church’s interpretation of the Bible through the Centuries (see Tradition is the Bride of Christ Dancing with Him Throughout History), since basic Christian orthodoxy has been constantly preserved in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches which do not have the problem of “doctrinally liberal” unorthodoxy which Protestantism has, due to what Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy have better preserved from the Undivided Early Church (though they may have a more pronounced problem of many “nominal” members than Evangelical Protestantism has – once again, we can and should share with each other from our various strengths). Helping to cement this “coming together” of approaches, it is largely because of Newman that the differences which separate (Conservative/Evangelical) Protestant and Catholic Christians are today nowhere near what they seemed to be in the 16th Century (See Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman and How His Protestant Background Enriched the Catholic Church with Vatican II).
Fortunately, and extremely significantly for the future reestablishment of the Undivided Early Church’s ideal, at the highest levels (though it may not have yet trickled down to “the grassroots” level), the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, the two oldest and largest Christian Church Communions, in their official Theological Dialogue since 1982 (in the context of their official Dialogue of Love since 1958 which predated and provided the Ecumenical context for Vatican II), have already made tremendous progress in beautifully clarifying and developing Vatican II’s ecclesiology, specifically towards the purpose of eventually restoring full Christian communion with each other in one Church as in the First Millennium. As Blessed Pope John Paul II indicated to Eastern Orthdoox Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios, since the early Second Millennium “Great Schism” between their two Churches set the bad precedent and bad tone (“unity equals uniformity”) for the many later Christian divisions of the Second Millennium, the healing of this first “Great Schism” of Christianity should set a good precedent and good tone (unity in diversity) for the healing of the later Christian schisms (see The First “Great Schism” of Christianity and its Precedent in Division and in Healing).
While there is a ways to go yet, the very promising progress that has already been made really should engender hope in a really possible (long-term) Christian Reunification, as Jesus prayed for “so that the world may believe.” The vision of the Founder is a “Grand Synthesis” in which Covenant Family Theology (which will revolutionize your Bible reading by making it clearly your family’s album) demonstrates that from the beginning God intended for His Church Family to display a beautiful mutually enriching unity in diversity as actually existed in the Undivided Early Church but was lost due to immaturity in love: the Bible shows God intended a “unity in plurality,” “unity in multiplicity” as recently defined in Vatican II’s ecclesiology as clarified and developed in the official Catholic/Orthodox Dialogue, which finally gives us the tools to show our beloved Father God that we His children have matured in love and are now capable of starting to really “be one — so that the world may believe,” as Jesus prayed for us. The Founder is currently working on his Doctoral Thesis Project, provisionally entitled The History of the Catholic (Universal) Communion of Orthodox Christian Sister Churches of East and West (Commonly Called Simply the Catholic Church in the First Millennium): An Ecumenical Investigation of Unity in Diversity, to help aid the healing of the first “Great Schism” of Christianity, which will help in the healing of all the later schisms which followed its bad precedent of “unity equals uniformity.”
However much progress is made in official ecumenical dialogues between the best and brightest theologians and other leaders of each Church, the Christian reunification which will return to Christ’s Church the power of the united witness of Jesus’ Love it had in the First Millennium, a powerful witness which transformed the brutal ancient pagan world with Jesus’ Love, a power which can and will transform our modern secularized society which is slipping back into paganism, will not happen until such reunification in fulfilment of Jesus’ prayer is truly desired even at the “grassroots” level of the common believer of the currently divided Churches and prayed for, using the great power God gave us, also at this level. So many Christians are so used to the divisions, and they seem so entrenched, that they do not even truly desire nor pray for reunification “so that the world may believe.” But we have access to God the source of all love and power in the universe. So we should never give up! Christian Unity in Diversity Central exists to help remind all Christians that we had this wonderful unity in diversity once and we transformed the world for our Beloved Jesus. Christian Unity in Diversity Central exists to share with all Christians the above Vision, that we truly can restore our unity and with the restored power of that united witness of Jesus’ Love because we show the world that we indeed “have love for one another” (John 13:35), we can indeed transform the whole world with Jesus’ Love once again! So CATCH THE VISION and pray for it “So That the World May Believe.”
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!
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