Compare and contrast any two Dulles models of the church suggesting one that might help the church today? There is five Avery Dulles models in which make up the Church today with a sixth be added later. It’s what’s make the Church up today. Each performs a different function in its own right and the Church in which we can indirectly grow in our understanding of the Church. The models which make up the Church are the Church as an institution, as a Mystical Communion, as a Sacrament, as a Herald and Servant with the Eschatology later added as the sixth. In each case these models form views on the Church role, audience and the goal of the Church. The models portray the strengths and weakness of the Church along with the understanding of divine revelation. There is models of the Church in which share the same traits but also have a different opinion on other matters. There are models in which benefit the Church more today with the changing of peoples opinion over time. The Church of Christ does not exist in the world without an organization or structure. The models help see the Church as a servant which helps humanity achieve its full potential in God’s history. The institutional model and Mystical models of the Church both different but both serve the Church in different ways. Their strengths while help the Church also can be their weakness.
The Church as an institution emphasizes the hierarchy of the Church. The Church is essentially a single society having a constitution which has set rules, a governing body with members who follow the set rules and constitution1.The institution vision of the Church defines the Church in the way of visible structures along with the power of its officers .The Church as mystical communion portrays the Church as the community nature of the Church. Its gives the notion that the Church is a parish and is more than a building .The parish is a community of believes which exists in order to share the love of Christ2. While it has a sense of belonging it can also lack direction and structure. These two models of the Church share the same traits but also are very much different to each other. The institution way sees the Church as visible structures, whereas the Communion way sees the Church more than a building and more of a community and not just buildings3.The functions of the Church as an institution are divided into three sections teaching, sanctifying and governing. The teaching function is to pass down the teachings of Christ, to pass on the doctrine of Christ. Bishops are considered to possess a special “charism of truth” and the faithful are in conscience to believe what the bishops declare4.Sanctifying is where the Pope and bishops assisted by the deacons and priests are an essential attribute to the Church. The governing function of the Church is to guide people of the Church like a flock with pastoral authority5.These functions show how the Church is the school with the bishops being the teachers and sanctifies through the Sacraments, which in turn is guided by the hierarchy. This model of the Church is solely based on leadership which is in contrast to the model of mystical Communion. In the mystical Communion it is emphasize on the believers to the Holy Spirit which in turn directs the Church. In the mystical Communion it is portrayed that the bishops authority must be exercised in communion with the whole Church under the guidance of the Pope,”the
Power which they exercise personally in the name of Christ, is proper, ordinary, and immediate, although its exercise is ultimately controlled but the supreme authority of the Church”6
Both the institution and mystical communion models of the Church have both different aspects in how they work. The institution model is based on visible structures to oppose that that of the mystical of which is a parish or community. The institution sees bishops as teachers of the school and the faithful must believe what they declare....
Bibliography: Dulles Avery, Models of the Church, 6th edn (Goldenbridge Dublin: Macmillan ltd, 1985
Hasenhuttl Cotthold, Theology in Age of Renewal, Ed. By Gregory Baum, Andrew Greely, 1st edn (London: Burns & Oates Ltd, 1974)
Catechism of the Church (895) http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p4.htm [accessed 24 January 2014].
Models of the Church http://www.theocentric.com/ecclesiology/leadership/models_of_the_church.html [accessed 24 January 2014]
Michael Raune, ‘The Furrow’, the parish a ‘Peoples Business’, 55, (2004) 246, in [accessed 23 January 2014]
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