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The Essence of the Church

The Essence of the Church

$41.99

Paperback
This fresh perspective on the church explores its essential nature as a community of people governed by the Word and led and taught by the Spirit.

- Publisher "Van Gelder is a direction setter. Scholarly but not delinked from right practices, the visual models in the book are carefully and creatively spelled out.... Will keep the church on course into the twenty-first century."--Don Posterski, World Vision Canada"This book helps us retrace the history of misguided ecclesiologies and builds the foundation for a sound missiological ecclesiology."--Rev. James H. Furr, Southern Baptist Convention"Wise and necessary guidance.... It should be required reading for all who want the church to be faithful to the cause of the gospel in our present cultural context."--Richard J. Mouw, president, Fuller Theological Seminary (from the foreword)"When facing difficult decisions, pastors and lay leaders need help from many different places at once, such as the Bible, theology, management, missiology, and sociology. Van Gelder brings together insights from these fields and presents them in ways that are both readable and practical."--Rev. James M. Phillips, Overseas Mission Study Center"Eureka!!--a book which officiates the long-awaited wedding of ecclesiology and missiology. Behold, a missiological ecclesiology! What Van Gelder has joined together, let no theologian put asunder!"--Dr. Justice C. Anderson, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary"This volume makes a constructive and stimulating contribution to the rapidly growing conversation about the missionary vocation of the church in North America. Van Gelder''s skill at reviewing and synthesizing complex developments is well applied in his overview of the current situation of the churches and the historical processes that led here. He insists upon a biblical and theological approach, dealing with the nature of the church as the foundational concern. Without compromising the pragmatic, he illumines the organizational givens and options for the church today and introduces perspectives into the current conversation that will assist in the movement of the church towards its missional vocation."--Dr. Darrell L. Guder, Columbia Theological Seminary"For some years now, we have been hearing that the church is ''missionary by its very nature,'' but very few ecclesiologies have actually been constructed that take this dictum both seriously and consistently. This work is one of the few I have encountered that offers a sustained reflection on the church''s essential--and indeed, constitutive--missionary nature. I consider this book a genuine breakthrough in ecclesiology. It very clearly and convincingly shows how a church receives its identity from God''s already present though not yet fully established reign, and so is created by God''s Spirit to be the people called to demonstrate, as well as to effect, that reign in human history. ... How many issues of church ministry and polity that bog us down today would be easily solved by understanding the implications of Van Gelder''s insights in this volume!"--Dr. Steve Bevans, Catholic Theological Union "This book wrestles in a fresh way with the ancient problem of the Christian church: that it is both spiritual and social, both the work of the Holy Spirit and a human organization working in society. ... Van Gelder explores this as a critical and constructive study of the church in mission: its nature, its ministry, and its organization. All who care about the way the promise of God for the world expresses itself in human community and human witness will be helped by his study."--Dr. Charles C. West, Princeton Theological Seminary"An important statement on the missional nature of the church within the context of North America. ... [This] book is a challenge to the how-to books for church leaders that usually skip the discussion of what the church is and go directly to what the church should do and how it should organize."--Rev. Lois Barrett, General Conference Mennonite Church"Most church leaders acknowledge that the church needs to change. Unfortunately, we have meandered from our true callin

- Publisher

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About "The Essence of the Church"

This fresh perspective on the church explores its essential nature as a community of people governed by the Word and led and taught by the Spirit.
- Publisher

"Van Gelder is a direction setter. Scholarly but not delinked from right practices, the visual models in the book are carefully and creatively spelled out.... Will keep the church on course into the twenty-first century."--Don Posterski, World Vision Canada"This book helps us retrace the history of misguided ecclesiologies and builds the foundation for a sound missiological ecclesiology."--Rev. James H. Furr, Southern Baptist Convention"Wise and necessary guidance.... It should be required reading for all who want the church to be faithful to the cause of the gospel in our present cultural context."--Richard J. Mouw, president, Fuller Theological Seminary (from the foreword)"When facing difficult decisions, pastors and lay leaders need help from many different places at once, such as the Bible, theology, management, missiology, and sociology. Van Gelder brings together insights from these fields and presents them in ways that are both readable and practical."--Rev. James M. Phillips, Overseas Mission Study Center"Eureka!!--a book which officiates the long-awaited wedding of ecclesiology and missiology. Behold, a missiological ecclesiology! What Van Gelder has joined together, let no theologian put asunder!"--Dr. Justice C. Anderson, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary"This volume makes a constructive and stimulating contribution to the rapidly growing conversation about the missionary vocation of the church in North America. Van Gelder''s skill at reviewing and synthesizing complex developments is well applied in his overview of the current situation of the churches and the historical processes that led here. He insists upon a biblical and theological approach, dealing with the nature of the church as the foundational concern. Without compromising the pragmatic, he illumines the organizational givens and options for the church today and introduces perspectives into the current conversation that will assist in the movement of the church towards its missional vocation."--Dr. Darrell L. Guder, Columbia Theological Seminary"For some years now, we have been hearing that the church is ''missionary by its very nature,'' but very few ecclesiologies have actually been constructed that take this dictum both seriously and consistently. This work is one of the few I have encountered that offers a sustained reflection on the church''s essential--and indeed, constitutive--missionary nature. I consider this book a genuine breakthrough in ecclesiology. It very clearly and convincingly shows how a church receives its identity from God''s already present though not yet fully established reign, and so is created by God''s Spirit to be the people called to demonstrate, as well as to effect, that reign in human history. ... How many issues of church ministry and polity that bog us down today would be easily solved by understanding the implications of Van Gelder''s insights in this volume!"--Dr. Steve Bevans, Catholic Theological Union "This book wrestles in a fresh way with the ancient problem of the Christian church: that it is both spiritual and social, both the work of the Holy Spirit and a human organization working in society. ... Van Gelder explores this as a critical and constructive study of the church in mission: its nature, its ministry, and its organization. All who care about the way the promise of God for the world expresses itself in human community and human witness will be helped by his study."--Dr. Charles C. West, Princeton Theological Seminary"An important statement on the missional nature of the church within the context of North America. ... [This] book is a challenge to the how-to books for church leaders that usually skip the discussion of what the church is and go directly to what the church should do and how it should organize."--Rev. Lois Barrett, General Conference Mennonite Church"Most church leaders acknowledge that the church needs to change. Unfortunately, we have meandered from our true callin
- Publisher

Meet the Author

Gelder Craig Van

Craig Van Gelder (PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, PhD, University of Texas) is Professor of Congregational Mission at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, and the author of The Essence of the Church: A Community Created by the Spirit. He is the editor of the The Gospel and Our Culture Series which includes four volumes The Church between Gospel and Culture: The Emerging Mission in North America,The Missional Church in Context: Helping Congregations Develop Contextual Ministry,Confident Witness --- Changing World: Rediscovering the Gospel in North America, and The Missional Church and Denominations: Helping Congregations Develop a Missional Identity.
-Editorial Review- Koorong

Table Of Contents

  • Foreword By Richard J. Mouw
    preface
    1 rediscovering The Church In The Twenty-first Century
    2 a Missional Understanding Of The Church
    3 historical Views Of The Church
    4 the Church And The Redemptive Reign Of God
    5 the Nature Of The Church
    6 the Ministry Of The Church
    7 the Organizational Life Of The Church
    notes
    selected Bibliography

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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 143984
  • Product Code 0801090962
  • EAN 9780801090967
  • Pages 208
  • Department Academic
  • Category Church
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Baker Book House
  • Publication Date May 2000
  • Sales Rank #22675
  • Dimensions 228 x 152 x 16 mm
  • Weight 0.337kg

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