Skip to main content

🚨 URGENT: Mere Orthodoxy Needs YOUR Help

Minich and Leeman Joint Statement on Ecclesiology

July 11th, 2016 | 2 min read

By Jake Meador

Here’s a brief statement from Joseph and Jonathan to wrap up our ecclesiology series here. Previous posts:


Affirmation 1: We agree that the believer’s standing before Christ is what and as it is without the mediating voice of any man or institution.

Affirmation 2: We agree that the visible church serves the purposes of the mutual affirmation of faith and (if necessary) de-affirmation of faith.

Affirmation 3: We agree that the visible church only becomes the mouthpiece of Christ inasmuch as it accurately articulates and applies the word of God to a person, question or situation (the answers to which are often formulated in explicit doctrines and statements of faith).

Affirmation 4: We agree that the individual Christian can just as accurately articulate Christ’s word to a person, question, or situation – even in disagreement with and toward the institutional church.

Affirmation 5: We agree that the accurate articulation of Christ’s word to a person, question, or situation is spoken with the authority of that word.

Question 1: What do we mean when we say that the institutional church affirms the who and the what of the gospel “authoritatively”? What is the relationship of that “authority” to the believer’s submission to and participation in that judgment?

Question 2: Is the visible church to be equated with the totality of local institutional churches, or does it have a logically prior existence of which the institutions are an expression?

Question 3: In what sense is the individual Christian “authorized” to speak on behalf of Christ with respect to the who and the what of the gospel – as compared to the institutional church?

Question 4: Can an individual Christian exercise the keys of the kingdom in any sense, or are the keys of the kingdom innately and exclusively political and corporate?

Jake Meador

Jake Meador is the editor-in-chief of Mere Orthodoxy. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied English and History. He lives in Lincoln, NE with his wife Joie, their daughter Davy Joy, and sons Wendell, Austin, and Ambrose. Jake's writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Commonweal, Christianity Today, Fare Forward, the University Bookman, Books & Culture, First Things, National Review, Front Porch Republic, and The Run of Play and he has written or contributed to several books, including "In Search of the Common Good," "What Are Christians For?" (both with InterVarsity Press), "A Protestant Christendom?" (with Davenant Press), and "Telling the Stories Right" (with the Front Porch Republic Press).