Ecclesiology: Who Cares?
- I. The Church Is a Faith Claim
The creedal picture: "We
believe the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church"
- (these are the "marks"
or "notes" of the Church)
- The historical picture: Overlapping,
competing "Christian traditions"
The modern, individualistic picture: Mere political structures, "organized
Jesus' picture: The community of disciples is his top priority
Conclusion: "The Church" calls for theological interpretation, discernment,
- II. The
Church as "the Gathering Gathering"
ekklêsia: "assembly" or "gathering"
The Assembly of Israel (1 Kings 8:14)
- The scattering of Israel (2 Kings
- Israel's regathering prophesied and
- (Jer. 3:14-17, 2 Chron. 36:22-23,
1 Pet. 1:1, Eph. 1:22-23)
- The Kingdom of God as the restored
Kingdom of David (Matt. 1:17, Acts 2)
The Kingdom is "already" (Matt. 12:28) and "not yet" (Matt.
- ekklêsia respects the Church's eschatological context
between Ascension and Return
- ekklêsia "manifests the Kingdom without being
identified with it"
- ekklêsia emphasizes the Church's concreteness
- ekklêsia recognizes that the Church's is a "who"
more than a "what"
- ekklêsia respects the Church's center over its boundaries
ekklêsia suggests the Church's unity, holiness, catholicity,
- III. What About the "Old"
- What is "the Israel of God"?
Supersessionism: The Church replaces Israel as "the new Israel"
- Pluralism: The Church and Israel
have different ways to salvation
- Paul (Rom. 9-11): Someday "all
Israel will be saved" by faith