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In this introduction to ecclesiology, respected scholars Brad Harper and Paul Louis Metzger offer a solidly evangelical yet ecumenical survey of the church in mission and doctrine. Combining biblical, historical, and cultural analysis, this comprehensive text explores the church as a Trinitarian, eschatological, worshipping, sacramental, serving, ordered, cultural, and missional community. It also offers practical application, addressing contemporary church life issues such as women in ministry, evangelism, social action, consumerism in church growth trends, ecumenism, and the church in postmodern culture. The book will appeal to all who are interested in church doctrine, particularly undergraduates and seminarians.
Essential for students, scholars, pastors, and laypeople, this informative volume brings fresh perspectives on theological matters. With the Logos Bible Software edition, searching by topic or Scripture references will further help your understanding—you’ll compare, for example, the systematic theologies of various scholars or denominations.
This is a marvelous volume on ecclesiology in the contemporary setting. Harper and Metzger have produced a text that surveys the broad range of issues related to the church with freshness, theological depth, and genuine insight. Indeed, I have not read a better introduction to ecclesiology and hope that it becomes a standard textbook in college and seminary classes and finds a wide readership outside of the academy. It is a splendid example of theology in service to the church.
—John R. Franke, theologian in residence, First Presbyterian Church, Allentown, PA
This is an important new book. Evangelicals have often emphasized individual faith in Christ at the expense of the corporate character of the Christian community. This book shows why that dichotomy is false by pointing us toward a more holistic ecclesiology—the church biblical, Trinitarian, sacramental, missional, and eschatological. This book needs to be read and heeded!
—Timothy George, dean and professor of divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
Harper and Metzger provide evangelical Protestants an ideal entree into what has been the long-neglected stepsister of systematic theology in North America. The authors root ecclesiology in the life and missions of the triune God, nourish it with scripture and the rich tradition of the church catholic, and glean abundant fruit by engaging the crucial issues of our time and place. A must read for evangelicals who intuitively know that the church is not incidental or just instrumental to the Christian life.
—Barry Harvey, professor of theology, Baylor University
Harper and Metzger keep their promises with an ecclesiology at once deeply ecumenical and sharply evangelical. They offer a richly Trinitarian and eschatological orientation even as they ground the doctrine of the church in an American context. As a generation of younger evangelicals discover ecclesiology—no, discover the church—I am happy and grateful to be able to refer them to this book.
—Matt Jenson, associate professor, Biola University
Brad Harper is a professor of theology at Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon. He is the college adviser for The Institute for Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins and the book review editor for Cultural Encounters: A Journal for the Theology of Culture. Harper has also worked as a pastor and church planter.
Paul Louis Metzger is a professor of Christian theology and theology of culture at Multnomah Biblical Seminary and director of its Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins. He is the editor of the journal Cultural Encounters and the author of Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Church.