Reader's Guide to Schleiermacher's Christian Faith

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Second Part of the System of Doctrine: Explication of the Facts of the Religious Self-Consciousness, as they are determined by the Antithesis of Sin and Grace

Second Aspect of the Antithesis: Explication of the Consciousness of Grace

Second Section: The Constitution of the World in Relation to Redemption

Second Division: The Subsistence of the Church alongside of the World

Second Half: The Mutable Element Characteristic of the Church in Virtue of its Coexistence with the World

148 The fact that the Church cannot form itself out of the midst of the world without the world exercising some influence on the Church, establishes for the Church itself the antithesis between the Visible and the Invisible Church.

149 The antithesis between the Visible and the Invisible Church may be comprehended in these two propositions: the former is a divided church, while the latter is an undivided unity; and the former is always subject to error, while the latter is infallible.

First Doctrine: The Plurality of the Visible Churches in Relation to the Unity of the Invisible

150 Whensoever separations actually occur in the Christian Church, there can never be lacking an endeavor to unite the separates.

First Theorem

151 The complete suspension of fellowship between different parts of the Visible Church is unchristian.

Second Theorem

152 All separations in the Church are merely temporary.

Second Doctrine: The Fallibility of the Visible Churches in Relation to the infallibility of the Invisible

153 As in every branch of the Visible Church error is possible, and therefore also in some respects actual, so also there is never lacking in any the corrective power of truth.

First Theorem

154 No presentation of the Christian religion issuing from the Visible Church contains pure and perfect truth.

Second Theorem

155 All errors that are generated in the Visible Church come to be removed by the truth which never ceases to work in it.

Appendix to these Two Doctrines

156 The assertion that the true Church began with the beginning of the human race and remains one and the same on to the end of it, must not be taken as implying that the Christian Church properly so-called is in itself only part of a larger whole.

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