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Church Membership

(2,015 words)

Author(s): Plathow, Michael | Thon, Nikolaus | Geldbach, Erich | Grosse, Heinrich | Engelhardt, Hanns
1. Protestant and Roman Cathlic Church membership and adherence are related to the theological and institutional understanding of the church. Church membership has both spiritual and legal dimensions. 1.1. ¶ On the Protestant view, the church is the communion of saints instituted by the Holy Spirit. Church membership, then, is essentially being part of the communion of saints. It begins with the work of the Holy Spirit, who brings one into this fellowship through the preaching of the gospel. Baptism is incorporation into the…

Canon Law/Church Law

(11,049 words)

Author(s): Schöllgen, Georg | Kalb, Herbert | Puza, Richard | Pirson, Dietrich | Engelhardt, Hanns | Et al.
[German Version] I. History – II. The Present – III. Orthodox Church – IV. The Study of Canon Law and Church Law – V. Practical Theology – VI. Oriental Orthodox Canon Law I. History 1. Early Church. The church has had laws ever since Christians recognized the need for a generally recognized authority to regulate the uncertainties, problems, and controversies involving church discipline brought about by the rapid expansion of Christianity. After the death of the initial authority figures (e.g. the fou…