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Edinburgh Conference

1937. Convened as the second Conference on Faith and Order following the first conference in Lausanne in 1927, it comprised 504 delegates representing 123 churches. The discussions between the conferences became the basis for four main reports studied at Edinburgh: the Doctrine of Grace, the Ministry and Sacraments, the Church of Christ and the Word of God, the Church's Unity in Life and Worship. While there were wide areas of agreement among the delegates, no attempt was made to conceal disagreements, and further studies were instituted on them. So wide a measure of agreement was reached in the discussion on “the grace of our Lord” that the report stated: “There is in connexion with this subject no ground for maintaining division between the Churches.” Agreement could not be reached on the means of grace and their right ordering and the Communion of the Saints. The authority of the Church to interpret Scripture revealed differences of conviction, and the report on the ministry proved the most contentious of all, with the episcopacy as the center of the disagreement. The root of the differences lay in conflicting views regarding the nature of the church. The proposal of the report on the church's unity that a World Council of Churches be formed was approved by the conference. An affirmation was issued, speaking of the unity of those who confess allegiance to Christ as Head of the Church.

See L. Hodgson (ed.), The Second World Conference on Faith and Order (1938).