Do North American evangelicals have a clear and strong doctrine of the church? Can we generate one? In The Community of the Word: Toward an Evangelical Ecclesiology top evangelical theologians Mark Husbands and Daniel J. Treier bring together thirteen scholars and teachers to explore the history of evangelical ecclesiology and attempt to steer the ongoing discussion about the nature of the church towards a positive and constructive ecclesiological statement.  Questions of sacraments, the relation of church to society, and the church’s moral character and missional witness are all discussed in detail.

Among the contributors themselves, we find opposing views on several of the usual topics:

  • Which has theological priority, individual faith or the church?
  • What is a “sacrament”—and is the church rightly described as one?
  • Is the church internal or external to God’s being?
  • Can we talk about the church in strictly “visible” terms, or must we distinguish between the church’s “visible” and “invisible” aspects?

Contributors include:

  • William J. Abraham
  • Gary D. Badcock
  • Craig A. Carter
  • Ellen T. Charry
  • William A. Dyrness
  • Darrell L. Guder
  • D. G. Hart
  • Willie James Jennings
  • Dennis L. Okholm
  • James K. A. Smith
  • Allen Verhey
  • John Webster
  • Jonathan R. Wilson
It is clear to me that our theology of the church lies at the root of many evangelical problems.  Evangelicalism can contribute more than church growth techniques to ecclesiological discussions; these essays do an admirable job of bringing these contributions to the fore.
Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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