I am working on a paper for a Lutheran World Federation international conference hosted by the Department for Theology and Studies that will meet at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland, June 12-16, 2008. The topic is "The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church." Theologians from around the globe have been invited to offer various perspectives on this topic. Interestingly, very little scholarship has been done on the creedal marks of the church from a Lutheran perspective.
The conference is organized into three sections:
I. Historical Perspectives: The soteriological relevance of the Church
II. Denominational Perspectives on the Church
III. Global Perspectives
I am speaking in the third section to offer a North American Lutheran perspective on the Nicene marks of the church. The other global perspectives will be from Ethiopia, Malaysia and Southeast Asia, Southern Africa and South America. My paper will 1) relate the Nicene marks to the classic Lutheran marks of the church as "word and sacrament;" and 2) suggest reading the Nicene marks in a reverse order as proposed by Darrell Guder (see his paper, "The Nicene Marks in a Post-Christendom Church") for a North American context "in order to restore missional purpose to our theology of the church."