At a time in which the very word church sounds a tone of dull irrelevance, the doctrine of the church has suffered the studied neglect of many Christian leaders. The persistent demands to market, manage and grow the church and to meet the felt needs of churched and unchurched all threaten to quench theological reflection on the abiding nature and mission of the church. But few activities bear greater promise as a starting point for renewing and reshaping the Christian church than the work of theology.
In this book Edmund Clowney takes up that task, addressing along the way a variety of contemporary concerns: worship, mission, church and culture, church and state, church order and discipline, the ministry of women, baptism and the Lord's Supper, tongues and prophecy, signs and wonders. He draws on decades of thinking and teaching about the church as well as from his committed leadership and ministry within the church. Biblical, historical, systematic and Reformed, The Church is a timely and provocative reflection on the life, order and purpose of the household of God.
"This series has been around for over a decade now and has established itself as providing learned yet accessible treatments of key topics in systematic theology. The authors are not only fine theological thinkers, they are also passionate churchmen with a love for God's people and a desire to see the church grow in her knowledge of grace. Each volume blends exegesis, theological synthesis and judicious dialogue with the history of theology to provide an excellent treatment of the chosen topic. Highly recommended for thoughtful Christians who want to deepen their knowledge of Christian theology."
"Read everything in the IVP Contours of Theology series. Pure gold."
"For several years evangelicals have lacked a satisfactory textbook on ecclesiology. Clowney . . . has filled that gap with this fine survey volume . . . . The evangelical church will profit greatly from careful attention to the fruits of his labor."
1. The Colony of Heaven
2. The People of God
3. The Church of Christ
4. The Fellowship of the Spirit
5. The Gift of the Spirit
6. 'I Believe . . . the Holy Catholic Church'
7. Holiness and Catholicity
8. The Marks of the Church
9. The Service of Worship
10. The Nurture of the Church
11. The Mission of the Church
12. The Church in the World's Cultures
13. The Kingdom, the Church and the State
14. The Structure of Christ's Church
15. The Ministry of Women in the Church
16. The Gifts of the Spirit in the Church
17. The Gift of Prophecy in the Church
18. The Sacraments
Index of Biblical References
Index of Subjects and Names