“The word catholic was used early on in Christian history to denote that which is believed everywhere: the whole deal. The heart of the word is Greek holos, meaning whole, entire, integral. It is not related to the English whole or heal. The linking idea is that you don’t want only a part, or you don’t want only to be associated with a part. You want the whole thing. And there is only one place to get it.”ANTHONY ESOLEN, ANGELS BARBARIANS AND NINCOMPOOPS…AND A LOT OF OTHER WORDS YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW, 8-9.
Esolen, being a devout Roman Catholic, most certainly means that “one place” to be the Roman Catholic Church. On this point he has erred in a drinking-out-of-the-wrong-Holy-Grail kind of erred.
Still, he does touch on a central desire all true Christians have – to want the whole of Christian community in unity. The apostle Paul declares as much when he writes that we ought to endeavor “to keep the unity of Spirit in the bond of peace” [Eph. 4:3]. But the Spirit is never alone. He always accompanies the word of God and the word, the Spirit. As such the writer of Hebrews declares that the word of God is quick [i.e., alive]. Indeed, for many this is the greatest “proof” that Scripture is the word of God.
“Thus, the highest proof of Scripture derives in general from the fact that God in person speaks in it.”John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, I, vii, 4.
The “whole of Christian community in unity” is an issue of unity in the Spirit and unity in the Spirit entails unity around the word of God. StandardSacredText.com aims to foster this unity around the word of God by offering resources and making arguments for the validity and benefits of having a standard sacred text for the English speaking believing community.
Certainly there will be some disagreement and where there is disagreement about strongly held convictions there can be friction between brothers in Christ. Indeed, that very well may happen. Still, we hope that while we may disagree about the mode of baptism or church governance we can agree that belief in a standard sacred text by the English speaking believing community would be a boon for the Church. Undoubtedly such a journey or process will be a messy one but as you and I consider the goal and benefits of such a conclusion perhaps you too will join in the effort.