When the church ceases to be one, or ceases to be missionary, it contradicts its own nature, yet the church is not to be defined by what it is, but by that End to which it moves. And the power of that end now works in the church, the power of the Holy Spirit who is the earnest of the inheritance still to be revealed. To say that the deadlock in the ecumenical debate will be resolved in a perspective which is missionary and eschatological is not true unless it is understood that that perspective means a new obedience to, and a new possession by, the Holy Spirit. It is a perspective inseparable from action, and that action must be both in the direction of mission and in that of unity, for these are the two aspects of the one work of the Spirit.
Leslie Newbigin: from his book,
The Household of God, written in 1953