The Church: Sacraments, Worship, Ministry, Mission, By Donald G. Bloesch
The Church
  • Length: 351 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: November 29, 2005
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2756
  • ISBN: 9780830827565

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In this volume, Donald Bloesch explores with charity and balance the contours of ecclesiology. He forthrightly takes up the most controversial of issues ranging from matters of church authority, the sacraments and worship, the church's place in the plan of salvation, the church and the kingdom of God, to the issue of church reunion. Evangelical in spirit, ecumenical in breadth and biblical in depth, Bloesch's theology of the church calls for reformation and renewal according to the Word and Spirit of God.



1. Introduction
Differing Theological Perspectives
Need for a Theological Balance

2. Continuing Issues in Ecclesiology
Authority and Infallibility
Reinterpreting the Church's Mission
Quandary over Worship
Marks and Signs
Christian Unity

3. The Church in the Plan of Salvation
Roman Catholic Theology
Martin Luther
John Calvin
Emil Brunner
Karl Barth
Thomas F. Torrance
The Redemptive Community
The Church's Mandate
Mary: A Type of the Church

4. The Church and the Kingdom
Two Sides of the Church
The Kingdom in the Making
The Kingdom and World History

5. Authority in the Church
Papalism versus Conciliarism
Biblicalism versus Ecclesiasticism
Experientialism versus Rationalism
The Church Militant and Triumphant

6. Marks of the Church
The Catholic Consensus
Practical Marks
Marks of the False Church
Word and Spirit

7. Worship in Spirit and Truth
Worship in Biblical Perspective
God Transcendent
Word and Image
The Crisis in Spirituality
True Spirituality
Appendix A: Contemporary Worship
Appendix B: An Evangelical Order of Worship
Appendix C: A Reformed Worship Center

8. Rethinking Sacraments
Sacramental Understanding in Christian History
Holy Baptism
Holy Communion
Word and Sacrament
Appendix D: An Ecumenical Consensus?

9. The Demise of Biblical Preaching
A Legacy in Peril
Aberrations After the Reformation
Toward the Recovery of Biblical Preaching

10. A Socio-Theological Typology
A Typology of Religious Association
A Theological Interpretation
Learning from the Sects
Appendix E: Further Thoughts on Sects and Cults

11. The Diversity of Ministries
Protestant Religious Orders
Women in Ministry
Marriage and Celibacy

12. The Gospel in a Syncretistic Age
Troeltsch's Theology of Religious History
Moltmann's Global Theology
The Church's Apostolic Mission

13. Toward the Reunion of the Churches
The Trauma of the Reformation
The Retreat from Ecumenicity
Evangelical-Catholic Unity
The Ecumenical Imperative

14. A Confessing Church
The Meaning of a Confessing Church
Types of Confession
Hallmarks of a True Confession
A Confessing Church versus a Cultural Church
The Work of a Confession
Appendix F: The Voice of Orthodoxy
Appendix G: The Meaning of the Gospel

Appendix 1. The Cambridge Declaration
Appendix 2. The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration
Index of Names
Index of Subjects
Index of Scripture


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Donald G. Bloesch

Donald G. Bloesch (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is professor of theology emeritus at Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He has written numerous books, including the completed seven-volume Christian Foundations series, Evangelical Theology in Transition, Essentials of Evangelical Theology, The Future of Evangelical Christianity, The Struggle of Prayer and Freedom for Obedience. He is also a past president of the Midwest Division of the American Theological Society.