By Corneliu C. Simut
The book presents the transition from traditionalism to modernism in connection to 2 of Küng's most vital books on ecclesiology: buildings of the Church (1962) as representing Küng's conventional theology, and On Being a Christian (1974) as a mirrored image of his sleek method of Christianity.
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Additional resources for A Critical Study of Hans Kung’s Ecclesiology: From Traditionalism to Modernism
Human intelligence and experience have nothing to do with the final authority of the church. If the church wants to be truly holy, then it must always submit to the Spirit of God, not to the spirit of man—because holiness originates in God, not in man. The church can discern the true Spirit of God and consequently distinguish it from the spirit of man because the Spirit of God is always the Spirit of Christ. 52 Christ is the key to the correct understanding of the church and to its holiness. 54 The church must never confound the Spirit of God with the spirit of man.
Then, he should take a serious stand against all the things that deviate from the apostolic church. At this point, Küng clearly lists two fundamental issues that are indeed the very morrow of the separation of Protestants from Catholics. The first is the Catholic belief that good works must be performed in order to obtain salvation, while the second is idolatry. Küng does not offer any details on the second aspect but, based on what he had said about Luther’s claims, it is very likely that idolatry is a reference to the veneration of saints.
Now, a simple mathematical calculation will show that the positive list includes ten elements while the negative list has fifteen items, so the things that unite Catholics and Protestants are not more than those that separate them as Küng emphatically claims. However, Küng’s conviction that we “must sincerely rejoice over that which unites us—despite all differences” because that “is more than that which separates us” should not be taken mathematically but from the perspective of their inner value.
A Critical Study of Hans Kung’s Ecclesiology: From Traditionalism to Modernism by Corneliu C. Simut