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.
The Church: A Spirited Communion emanates from the ecclesiology of Vatican II as a systematic treatment of this Vision of communion: graced, prophetic, sacramental, spiritual, and ministerial. It is about a Church in communion with the laity, the hierarchy, and with al the Churches. Since Church" is God in communion with the faithful, this book is primarily theo-logical and only secondarily ecclesio-logical. It is primarily about the God who is Triune, who calls the Church into existence, and who seeks in every age a people who adhere to "God rather than men" (Acts 5:29)."
In this volume, Wilson analyzes all of Behr-Sigel's writings about women and the priesthood across the whole sweep of her career, demonstrating the development of her thought on women over the last thirty years of her life. She evaluates her relationship to feminism, Protestantism and movements within Orthodoxy, finally drawing conclusions about this much-contested matter for the ongoing debate in both the East and the West.
Alexei Nesteruk reveals how the Orthodox tradition, deeply rooted in Greek Patristic thought, can contribute importantly in a way that the usual Western sources do not. Orthodox thought, he holds, profoundly and helpfully relates the experience of God to our knowledge of the world. His masterful historical introduction to the Orthodox traditions not only surveys key features of its theology but highlights its ontology of participation and communion. From this Nesteruk derives Orthodoxy's unique approach to theological and scientific attribution. Theology identifies the underlying principles (logoi) in scientific affirmations.
Nesteruk then applies this methodology to key issues in cosmology: the presence of the divine in creation, the theological meaning of models of creation, the problem of time, and the validity of the anthropic principle, especially as it relates to the emergence of humans and the Incarnation.
Nesteruk's unique synthesis is not a valorization of Eastern Orthodox thought so much as an influx of startlingly fresh ideas about the character of science itself and an affirmation of the ultimate religious and theological value of the whole scientific enterprise.
Demonstrating that in late modernity, parallel to rising nationalisms, there is a shift towards religious communities becoming the central axis for cultural organization and progressive thinking, the book presents Greece as a case study based on empirical field data from contemporary theology and religious education, and makes a unique contribution to ongoing debates about the public role of religion in contemporary Europe.