03 GSD Handout - The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

licc.org.uk

03 GSD Handout - The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

Gospel-Shaped DiscipleshipBelonging to the ChurchI. Some Opening Considerations1. Past ecclesiological neglect2. Current ecclesiological fermentII.III.The Church and the Gospel of GodThe Church and the Word of God1. The people of God and the biblical terminology(a) The Christian assembly – ekklesia(b) The Christian ministry – diakonia(c) The Christian testimony – marturia(d) The Christian fellowship – koinonia2. The people of God in the biblical images(a) The people of God(b) The body of Christ(c) The temple of the Spirit(d) The bride of Christ(e) The commonwealth of heaven3. The people of God through the biblical storyIV.The Church and the Mission of GodFor Further Reflection and Discussion1. Reflect on your own experience of ‘church’ – past and present, highlights andlowlights. How has it shaped the way you come to this topic?2. Entertainment? Management? Therapy? How far should the life and ministry ofthe church reflect – or not reflect – these areas of contemporary concern? Howdoes the gospel reshape these things?LICC • St Peter’s • Vere St • London • W1G 0DQ • 020 7399 9555 • mail@licc.org.uk • www.licc.org.uk


3. Read Ephesians (all of it, in one sitting if possible), looking specifically for howPaul spells out God’s plan for the church, how he has begun to work it out, howChrist stands at the heart of it, and our responsibilities as the people of Godmeanwhile.4. Which aspect of our biblical overview – terminology, images, story – have youfound most illuminating for your understanding of the church, and why?5. What do you make of suggestions by ‘missional church’ theologians that werecalibrate the ‘functions’ of the church (fellowship, discipleship, worship, etc.)around mission?6. Reflect back on all that has been covered. Are there any: (a) things to affirm? (b)thoughts to share? (c) questions to ask? (d) actions to take?ResourcesOnce again, though it could be ten times as long, the following list offers just a smallselection of the resources available on some of the issues covered in this session.Gary D. Badcock, The House Where God Lives: Renewing the Doctrine of the Church forToday (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009).A scholarly work. Beginning from the perspective that ‘the proper task of the doctrineof the church must be to attempt to understand the church in its theologicaldimensions’, Badcock offers full chapters on God, Christ, and the Spirit as foundationsof the doctrine of the church, before going on to explore communion, word, andsacrament.Jim Belcher, Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional (DownersGrove: IVP, 2009).An irenic and careful work which has garnered a lot of attention in the blogosphere.Belcher seeks to moderate on seven areas of disagreement between ‘emergingchurch’ proponents and ‘traditionalists’, offering a ‘third way’ which (to mostreviewers, anyway) looks mostly like a slightly chastened traditionalist path.Graham Beynon, God’s New Community: New Testament Patterns for Today’s Church(Nottingham: IVP, 2005, reissued in a larger format 2010).An exploration of key passages from the New Testament about what it means to bethe people of God, to belong to ‘God’s new community’ in Christ.D.A. Carson, ‘Evangelicals, Ecumenism and the Church’, in Kenneth S. Kantzer and CarlF. H. Henry (eds.), Evangelical Affirmations (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990), 347-85,available at .A full and helpful treatment which includes discussion of the following points: (1) thechurch is the community of the new covenant; (2) the church is the communityempowered by the Holy Spirit; (3) the church is an eschatological community; (4) thechurch is the gathered people of God; (5) the church is a worshiping community; (6)the church is the product of God’s gracious self-disclosure in revelation andredemption; (7) the church is characterized by mission.LICC • St Peter’s • Vere St • London • W1G 0DQ • 020 7399 9555 • mail@licc.org.uk • www.licc.org.uk


Brad Harper and Paul Louis Metzger, Exploring Ecclesiology: An Evangelical andEcumenical Introduction (Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2009).Probably the best of the recent textbook introductions to ecclesiology. They helpfullyalternate ‘theological’ chapters with ‘cultural’ chapters: thus, a chapter on the churchas the trinitarian community is followed by a chapter on how an understanding of thetrinitarian church confronts individualism.Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon, Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony(Nashville: Abingdon, 1989).A sharp challenge to the church to remember that its citizenship is in heaven, and theconsequences of that for our life meanwhile as ‘resident aliens’.Joseph H. Hellerman, When the Church Was a Family: Recapturing Jesus’ Vision forAuthentic Christian Community (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2009).Hellerman has written a lot on this area, and this recent volume is the mostaccessible, providing a stimulating and challenging discussion of the church as akinship group which takes precedence over other loyalties.Michael S. Horton, People and Place: A Covenant Ecclesiology (Louisville: WestminsterJohn Knox, 2008).Not an easy read, but a very significant work. Horton explores the origin, mission, anddestiny of the church through the lens of ‘covenant’.Mark Husbands and Daniel J. Treier (eds.), The Community of the Word: Toward anEvangelical Ecclesiology (Leicester: Apollos, 2005).A collection of academic essays with their origins in a Wheaton conference in 2004.Matt Jenson and David Wilhite, The Church: A Guide for the Perplexed (London: T&TClark International, 2010).A good collaboration, with four big chapters – Models, Marks, Mediation, and Mission.Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, An Introduction to Ecclesiology: Ecumenical, Historical and GlobalPerspectives (Downers Grove: IVP, 2002).A largely descriptive and comparative survey of how the church is understood indifferent Christian traditions, by some significant contemporary theologians, and intheological traditions outside the west.Paul S. Minear, Images of Church in the New Testament (Philadelphia: Westminster,1960).A classic, which takes a look at the many and diverse images for the church in theNew Testament.Lesslie Newbigin, The Household of God: Lectures on the Nature of the Church (London:SCM, 1953), available online at .Anything by Newbigin eventually comes back to the church; this short bookaddresses it head on.Ian Stackhouse, The Gospel-Driven Church: Retrieving Classical Ministries forContemporary Revivalism (Bletchley: Paternoster, 2004).Not an easy read, but an important call for churches and church leaders to be centredon the gospel rather than pragmatic concerns with size and numbers.LICC • St Peter’s • Vere St • London • W1G 0DQ • 020 7399 9555 • mail@licc.org.uk • www.licc.org.uk


John G. Stackhouse, Jr. (ed.), Evangelical Ecclesiology: Reality or Illusion? (Grand Rapids:Baker Academic, 2003).A collection of essays on the church which grew out of a 2002 conference at RegentCollege, Vancouver.R. Paul Stevens, Liberating the Laity: Equipping All the Saints for Ministry (DownersGrove: IVP, 1984, reprinted by Regent College Publishing, 2002).Argues that the key task of the church leader is not to do all the ministry but to equipthe saints to do it.John Stott, One People: Clergy and Laity in God’s Church (London: Falcon, 1969).Early Stott, but clear and helpful as ever, addressing the relationship between clergyand laity through four dimensions of the church – assembly, ministry, witness, andfellowship.John Stott, The Living Church: Convictions of a Lifelong Pastor (Nottingham: IVP, 2007).A helpful treatment of key characteristics of the church – worship, evangelism,ministry, fellowship, preaching, giving, and impact.Craig Van Gelder, The Essence of Church: A Community Created by the Spirit (GrandRapids: Baker Books, 2000).Missional ecclesiology is the key focus of the book, as in more recent volumes editedby Van Gelder.Kevin J. Vanhoozer, ‘Evangelicalism and the Church: The Company of the Gospel’, inCraig Bartholomew, Robin Parry, and Andrew West (eds.), The Futures ofEvangelicalism: Issues and Prospects (Leicester: IVP, 2003), 40-99.A lengthy essay, but a truly excellent treatment, during which he notes that thechurch is the people of the gospel, a theme of the gospel, a result of the gospel, anembodiment of the gospel, and an agent of the gospel. Lovely.Antony Billington, Head of Theology, LICCantony.billington@licc.org.ukGospel-Shaped Discipleship Lectures (3 November 2010)LICC • St Peter’s • Vere St • London • W1G 0DQ • 020 7399 9555 • mail@licc.org.uk • www.licc.org.uk

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