Building on a remarkable number of specialist studies in exegesis, church history, political philosophy, canon law, and ecclesiology, this book convincingly fulfils three goals. First, it encourages Christians to determine the political outlook of their faith community. Secondly, it provides some fundamental criteria for judging the ethical value of church structures, on the basis of Bernard Lonergan's cognitional theory and with the help of recent insights from contemporary political philosophy. Thirdly, it outlines a largely novel and groundbreaking understanding of a democratic church. In the process, it engages with some of the most difficult ecclesiological issues faced by most Christian churches.
Of all things Catholic, there is nothing that is so familiar as the Mass. With its unchanging prayers, the Mass fits Catholics like their favorite clothes. Yet most Catholics sitting in the pews on Sundays fail to see the powerful supernatural drama that enfolds them. Pope John Paul II described the Mass as "Heaven on Earth," explaining that what "we celebrate on Earth is a mysterious participation in the heavenly liturgy."
The Lamb’s Supper reveals a long-lost secret of the Church: The early Christians' key to understanding the mysteries of the Mass was the New Testament Book of Revelation. With its bizarre imagery, its mystic visions of heaven, and its end-of-time prophecies, Revelation mirrors the sacrifice and celebration of the Eucharist.
Beautifully written, in clear direct language, bestselling Catholic author Scott Hahn's new book will help readers see the Mass with new eyes, pray the liturgy with a renewed heart, and enter into the Mass more fully, enthusiastically, intelligently, and powerfully than ever before.
This new edition includes a new Appendix and Preface by the author.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Disciples who want to follow Christ in all situations need doctrinal direction as they walk onto the social stage in the great theater of the world. The Christian faith is about acknowledging, and participating in, the great thing God is doing in our world: making all things new in Christ through the Holy Spirit. Doctrine ministers understanding: of God, of the drama of redemption, of the church as a company of faithful players, and of individual actors, all of whom have important roles to play. In an age where things fall apart and centers fail to hold, doctrine centers us in Jesus Christ, in whom all things hold together.
Rooted in solid biblical research and extensive experience, Marva Dawn's newest book will help churches and their leaders avoid falling to the temptations of contemporary secular culture, including the popular "success" models of church management. Dawn offers groundbreaking scholarship--from the first significant critique of Walter Wink's work on "the powers" to a relevant new translation of 2 Corinthians 12:9--and challenges readers to rethink the goals and mission of the congregation, to develop practices that follow God's "hidden" way of weakness, and to expand their sense of what it means to be a faithful church.
Complete with discussion questions, this book provides the trustworthy theological and biblical foundations necessary for building strong churches--and keeping them strong--in today's world.
Fifteen years ago in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, historian Mark Noll warned that evangelical Christians had abandoned the intellectual aspects of their faith. Christians were neither prepared nor inclined to enter into intellectual debates, and had become culturally marginalized. Trueman argues that today “religious beliefs are more scandalous than they have been for many years”—but for different reasons than Noll foresaw. In fact, the real problem now is exactly the opposite of what Noll diagnosed: evangelicals don’t lack a mind, but rather an agreed upon evangel. Although known as gospel people, evangelicals no longer share any consensus on the gospel’s meaning.
Provocative and persuasive, Trueman’s indictment of evangelicalism also suggests a better way forward for those theologically conservative Protestants famously known as evangelicals.
This is not a historical study but a doctrinal study. The aim is to present a biblical theology of the church. A doctrinal approach, however, does not mean a doctrinal scheme is imposed on the text; rather, the effort is to let the doctrinal teaching arise out of the text itself.
The systematic treatment of the topics traditionally covered in studies of the doctrine of the church are here brought together in relationship to Christ, who is seen as providing the nature of the church and of its membership and as providing not only the example for the church but also a living continuation of himself in its worship, polity, and ethics.
The "Today" in the subtitle does not imply a tailoring of biblical ecclesiology to the interests of the present, but is meant to emphasize that biblical ecclesiology is viable today; it is also an acknowledgment that the questions addressed are in part shaped by contemporary as well as historical issues in ecclesiology. In light of these considerations, Ferguson unveils a comprehensive model of the church that is both biblically centered and relevant to today's world.
Platinum Book Award, Evangelical Christian Publishing Association For over 40 years, J. I. Packer's classic has been an important tool to help Christians around the world discover the wonder, the glory and the joy of knowing God. In 2006, Christianity Today voted this title one of the top 50 books that have shaped evangelicals. This edition is updated with Americanized language and spelling and a new preface by the author. Stemming from Packer's profound theological knowledge, Knowing God brings together two important facets of the Christian faith— knowing about God and also knowing God through the context of a close relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. Written in an engaging and practical tone, this thought-provoking work seeks to transform and enrich the Christian understanding of God. Explaining both who God is and how we can relate to him, Packer divides his book into three sections: The first directs our attention to how and why we know God, the second to the attributes of God and the third to the benefits enjoyed by a those who know him intimately. This guide leads readers into a greater understanding of God while providing advice to gaining a closer relationship with him as a result.
We can never say we weren’t warned. In 1903, Ellen White wrote an urgent letter about the “Alpha of Apostasy” and rushed it to the mail. Twenty-five hundred miles later, it arrived just in time to head off disaster—temporarily at least.
She wrote of a dream in the night, a ship in the fog, and iceberg in the way. The vessel was damaged, but it survived the encounter because the Captain’s command was obeyed. Adventism survived her crisis, too, though at the cost of her right arm and the imposition of “the worst evil.” Yet, she assured us that the story wasn’t over.
“The omega would follow in a little while.
I trembled for our people.” Ellen G. White
For nearly a century, the idea that the Seventh-day Adventist Church would ever again be troubled and tempted by pantheism strained credulity. It seemed absurd, unbelievable, ridiculous. Nevertheless, the Lord said another test was coming.
Over a period of thirty days, God gave Mary K. Baxter visions of hell and commissioned her to tell people still alive on earth to reject sin and evil, and to choose life in Christ. Here is an account of the place and beings of hell contrasted with the glories of heaven. Follow Mary in her supernatural journey as she enters with Jesus into a gateway to hell and encounters the sights, sounds, and smells of that dark place of torment, including its evil spirits, cells, pits, jaws, and heart. Be an eyewitness to the various punishments of lost souls and hear their shocking stories. This book is a reminder that each of us needs to accept the miracle of salvation before it is too late—and to intercede for those who do not yet know Christ. Time is running out.
I. A Christian Church
II. Church Officers
III. Church Ordinances
IV. Church Membership
V. Church Discipline
VI. Cases of Appeal
VII. Church Business
Order of Business
Rules of Order
VIII. Christian Doctrine
Articles of Faith
IX. Optional Standing Resolutions
X. Baptism Considered
Meaning of the Word
The Baptism of Jesus
Much Water Needed
Philip and the Eunuch
The Testimony of Scholars
The Witness of History
For Thirteen Centuries
As to the Greek Church
The Design of Baptism
A Sufficiency of Water
The Rise of Sprinkling
XI. The Lord’s Supper
Open and Close Communion
One and the Same Rule
The Baptist Position
Pedobaptist Close Communion
The Power of Sympathy
Three Facts Explained
XII. Infant Baptism
Not of Scriptural Authority
When Did It Rise?
Why Did It Rise?
XIII. Church Government
XIV. Church Officers
Whether they've already left the church behind or are merely considering it, readers will find here both heartfelt encouragement and practical steps for finding or creating a community of faith that honors God and offers rest, love, and communion with other believers. Author Kelly Bean broadens our definition of church to include many alternative forms of Christian community. With true stories of those who have given up on church and what they're doing now, this book is also helpful for pastors and churchgoers to help them understand why people leave the church--and what might be done to help them stay.
The Hebraic foundations fo the Christain faith establish the home as a small temple. This insight dramatically changes the dynamics of the home for those who believe in the God of the Bible and in his will for their lives.
The Christian family was always designed by God to be the center for social, educational, and spiritual growth and maturity--a place of fellowswhip, study, and prayer. Now, you, too can experience these same powerful dyunamics that made the home the center of sanctity and security that it was for the biblical peoples.
Family Worship presents these vivid images of a rich biblically Hebraic tradition for Christians today: The Domestic Temple, A Temple of Blessing, The Family Altar, A House of Prayer, A House of Study, Temples in Time, The Domestic Priesthood, and The Domestic Church.
As you read this book, you'll be amazed at how your own family life will be revolutionized and enriched simply by restoring biblically Hebraic dynamics to your home.
Volf seeks to counter the tendencies toward individualism in Protestant ecclesiology and to suggest a viable understanding of the church in which both person and community are given their proper due. In the process he engages in a sustained and critical ecumenical dialogue with the Catholic and Orthodox ecclesiologies of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and the metropolitan John Zizioulas. The result is a brilliant ecumenical study that spells out a vision of the church as an image of the triune God.
The Trinity is a basic teaching of the Christian faith. It defines God's essence and describes how He relates to us. The Forgotten Trinity is a concise, understandable explanation of what the Trinity is and why it matters. It refutes cultic distortions of God. It shows how a grasp of this significant teaching leads to renewed worship and deeper understanding of what it means to be a Christian. And amid
today's emphasis on the renewing work of the Holy Spirit, The Forgotten Trinity is a balanced look at all three persons of the Trinity.
After thirty nights in which God gave her visions of the depths of hell and the punishments of the lost, Mary K. Baxter was shown the glories of heaven—the home of redeemed souls. Included in this book are her depictions of heaven’s gates, angels, music, worship, storehouses of blessings, joyful heavenly citizens, four living creatures, and brilliant throne of God. Mary also describes heaven’s perfect order and purpose, what happens to children, and much more. These breathtaking glimpses of heaven, interspersed with applicable Bible verses, will turn your heart toward the beauty and joy that await every believer in Christ.
A church's life, doctrine, worship, and even polity are important issues. Yet they are so rarely addressed. The Church is Mark Dever's primer on the doctrine of the church for all who see Scripture alone as a sufficient authority for the doctrine and life of the local church. He explains to the reader what the Bible says about the nature and purpose of the church - what it is, what it's for, what it does.
Indeed, Scripture teaches us about all of life and doctrine, including how we should assemble for corporate worship and how we're to organize our corporate life together. God has revealed himself by his Word. He is speak- ing to us, preparing us to represent him today, and to see him tomorrow! A congregation of regenerate members, fulfilling the responsibilities given to us by Christ himself in his Word, regularly meeting together, led by a body of godly elders, is the picture God has given us in his Word of his church.
Theology doesn't have to be complicated. In this book, trusted Dallas Seminary professors present a concise systematic theology that distills the essential spiritual truths in a way that makes sense to readers--students, lay people, and pastors. Here are introductions, overviews, and reviews of key tenets of orthodox protestant evangelical doctrines. The book also includes an annotated list of key applicable Bible texts, a quick-paced story of doctrine throughout church history, heresies or distortions to be aware of, and more.
Exploring Christian Theology is useful for discipleship, catechism, membership training, preview or review of doctrine, or quick personal reference. It can also be used by ministry training programs, Bible colleges, or seminaries as an introductory primer to orient students in preparation for a more in-depth study of theology.
What then is a right or biblical polity? The contributors to this volume make an exegetical and theological case for a Baptist polity. Right polity, they argue, is congregationalism, elder leadership, diaconal service, regenerate church membership, church discipline, and a Baptist approach to the ordinances.
Each section explores the pastoral applications of these arguments. How do congregationalism and elder leadership work together? When should a church practice church discipline? How can one church work with another in matters of membership and discipline?
To be read sequentially or used as a reference guide, Baptist Foundations provides a contemporary treatment of Baptist church government and structures, the first of its kind in decades.
Today the word church provokes wide-ranging reactions and generates discussion on a variety of issues among Christians and non-Christians alike. In order to sort through this maze of responses and topics, a biblical and theological foundation must be laid that provides a clear vision of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ and its significance in God's eternal purpose.
With extensive pastoral, teaching, missions, and administrative experience, this team of contributors carefully sets forth the biblical teachings concerning the church and then builds on this core material, relating the theology of the church to salvation history, church history, God's glory, and God's mission:
- Paul R. House, "God Walks with His People: Old Testament Foundations"
- Andreas J. Kstenberger, "The Church According to the Gospels"
- Kendell H. Easley, "The Church in Acts and Revelation: New Testament Bookends"
- David S. Dockery, "The Church in the Pauline Epistles"
- Ray Van Neste, "The Church in the General Epistles"
- James A. Patterson, "The Church in History: Ecclesiastical Ideals and Institutional Realities"
- Stephen J.Wellum, "Beyond Mere Ecclesiology: The Church as God's New Covenant Community"
- Christopher W. Morgan, "The Church and the Glory of God"
- Bruce Riley Ashford, "The Church in the Mission of God"
With startling transparency, Joshua Harris shares how we can rediscover the relevance and power of Christian truth. This is book shows a young man who rose quickly to success in the Christian evangelical world before he realized his spirituality lacked a foundation—it rested more on tradition and morality than on an informed knowledge of God.
For the indifferent or spiritually numb, Harris's humorous and engaging reflections on Christian beliefs show that orthodoxy isn't just for scholars—it is for anyone who longs to know the living Jesus Christ. As Harris writes, "I've come to learn that theology matters. It matters not because we want to impress people, but because what we know about God shapes the way we think and live. Theology matters because if we get it wrong then our whole life will be wrong."
Whether you are just exploring Christianity or you are a veteran believer finding yourself overly familiar and cold-hearted, Dug Down Deep will help you rediscover the timeless truths of Scripture. As Harris challenges you to root your faith and feelings about God in the person, work, and words of Jesus, he answers questions such as:
• What is God like and how does he speak to me?
• What difference does it make that Jesus was both human and divine?
• How does Jesus's death on the cross pay for my sins?
• Who is the Holy Spirit and how does he work in my life?
With grace and wisdom, Harris will inspire you to revel in the truth that has captured his own mind and heart. He will ask you to dig deep into a faith so solid you can build your life on it. He will point you to something to believe in again.
From the Hardcover edition.
Satisfaction…Happiness…Joy. According to John Piper, the pursuit of pleasure in God is not only permissible, it’s essential.
Desiring God is a paradigm-shattering work that dramatically alters common perspectives on relating to God. Piper reveals that there really is no need to choose between duty and delight in the Christian life. In fact, for the follower of Jesus, delight is the duty as Christ is most magnified in His people when they are most satisfied in Him.
Constantly drawing on Scripture to build his case, Piper shows why pursuing maximum joy is essential to glorifying God. He discusses the implications of this for conversion, worship, love, Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering.
Piper beckons us to approach God with the hedonist’s abandon. Finally, we are freed to enjoy Jesus—not only as our Lord and Savior, but also as our all-surpassing, soul-satisfying Treasure.
Desiring God may turn your Christian world upside down. And that will be a good thing, for the glory of God, and for your deepest joy.
Includes a study guide for individual and small group use.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Simple Church: Unity Within Diversity is an attempt to shed light on the above question and provide some answers. The twenty-four contributors all hope this book will help people, both inside and outside the church, better understand what simple church life is all about.
Far too often discussions about the church descend into arguments that accomplish little. We have no desire to take part in that. Rather, each person who has written a chapter for this book desires that it will lead to increased communication, understanding, and ultimately unity within the body of Christ.
Twenty-four writers means twenty-four somewhat different perspectives. We certainly do not agree on everything. You will see that as you read through the book. What we do agree upon is that simple practices often lead to great opportunities for edification and service—both inside and outside the church. We want to share these ideas with other followers of Christ and explain what it is all about. If you would like to know more about simple church from a positive perspective, then this is the book for you!