Peter Brunner, one of the most distinctive and most ecumenical theologians of the twentieth century, understood his theology as a theology for the church. The purpose of the church is to be what it already is, namely, God’s communion, communion with God himself. The peculiarity of the communion that God wants with the human beings consists in the individuality of the relationship. This implies freedom. The history of the relationship between God and humanity has a real meaning. The completion is a consequence of living history. To live out the communion, God gave the means of grace. They represent Christ on the cross and anticipate the eschatological marriage feast. Christ chose, commissioned, and authorized with a charisma (spiritual gift) for the ministry apostles and members of his body by ordination to represent him proclaiming with their mouths the sacred word and administering the sacraments according to his command. Brunner did understand his confessional commitment as “efforts for unifying truth” and also was open to ways in which the other denominations focus on aspects which are underdeveloped in his tradition. The common struggle for the truth and the church fellowship corresponds, according to Brunner, to the unity of the hidden church in Christ.


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pp. 393-409
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