Ecumenism: Public Aye, Private Fear

A glowing euphoria ended this year's Consultation on Church Union. It was the fourth annual gathering of theologians and clerical leaders to discuss Eugene Carson Blake's suggested superchurch of the United Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians and the United Church of Christ, who have been joined, since Blake's 1960 proposal, by the Disciples of Christ and Evangelical United Brethren. "A decisive turning point," said Episcopal Bishop Robert Gibson of Virginia. Blake, the United Presbyterians' Stated Clerk, called it "a major step forward."

On the surface, at least, the ecumenists had much to cheer about....

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