Blog Posts on The Nature of the Church

Getting the Accent Right: "Not of . . . But Sent Into"

David Mathis

In. . . but not of” — are you familiar with this popular phrase? It captures a truth about Jesus’ followers. We are “in” this world, but not “of” it.

In. . . but not of.” Yes, yes, of course.

But might this pithy slogan give the wrong impression about our (co)mission in this world as Christians? You see, the motto seems to give…

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The Gospel Anchor to the Church's Identity

Jonathan Parnell

In A Light to the Nations, Michael Goheen explains the need to understand the nature of the Church (ecclesiology) in order to recover her missional role.

He writes:

Ecclesiology is about understanding our identity, who we are, and why God has chosen us—whose we are. If we do not develop our self-understanding in terms of the role that we have been called to play in the biblical drama,…

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Are Evangelicals Doctrinally Weak?

Michael Johnson

In the book God’s Passion for His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards, Piper writes about the present state of evangelicalism:

I resonate with the lament of Os Guinness and David Wells that evangelicalism today is basking briefly in the sunlight of hollow success. Evangelical industries of television and radio and publishing and music recordings, as well as hundreds of growing mega-churches and some highly visible public figures…

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Key Questions for Growing the Vine

Jonathan Parnell

Col began the second session of today’s workshop with a story of a young cricket player who embraced the gospel after two years of intentional ministry of the Word. In summary, Col said that the careful, personal proclamation of the gospel, alongside the public, is being used by God to call people to himself.

Why Do We Do Small Groups?

The session then moved into the subject of small group…

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The Biblical Vision of Christian Ministry

David Mathis

We're at Bethlehem's North Campus for the first of a 2-day Trellis & the Vine workshop with Col Marshall and Tony Payne (authors of the book by the same title). We found out at the beginning of this morning's session that there are attendees here from not only the 5-state region (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and the Dakotas) but also as far as New Hampshire, south Texas, and Oregon.

Tony…

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