The church catholic

Daily Reading for September 27 • The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

“We forbade him, because he was not following us. . .” (Mark 9:38).

There may be something catholic outside the church catholic. The name of Christ could exist outside the congregation of Christ, as in the case of the man casting out devils in Christ’s name. There may by contrast exist pretenses within the church catholic, as is unquestionably the case of those “who renounce the world in words and not in deeds,” and yet the pretense is not catholic. So as there may be found in the church catholic something which is not catholic, so there may be found something which is catholic outside the church catholic.

From On Baptism, Against the Donatists 7.39 by Augustine of Hippo, quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament II, Mark, edited by Thomas C. Oden and Christopher A. Hall (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1998).

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