What would it look like to affirm and embrace my own Anabaptist tradition, while at the same time re-connecting to the Great Tradition of the church? Can we from the Anabaptist tradition come to the great banqueting table of the global church throughout history and affirm the oneness of the Body of Christ. Must our self-understanding always begin with our distinctives--identity by differentiation, or can we affirm the wholeness of the church of Jesus throughout history.
Jesus told Peter that he would build his church and the gates of Hades would not stand against it. He instructed his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the gift of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses to the inbreaking reality of the Kingdom. That eschatological vision of Jesus was to be realized as the church continued the work he had begun. It was not sealed in a textual reality, or in a time warp of when Jesus was on earth. The eschatological reign of God has been advancing throughout history, even as the church has been an imperfect sign many times.