What is a church? This can be a difficult question to answer and Christians have offered a variety of perspectives. Gregg Allison explores and synthesizes all that Scripture affirms about the new covenant people of God, capturing a full picture of the biblical church. He covers the topics of the church’s identity and characteristics; its growth through purity, unity, and discipline; its offices and leadership structures; its ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper; and its ministries. Here is a rich approach to ecclesiology consisting of sustained doctrinal reflection and wise, practical application.
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I believe that the doctrine of the church will be the most urgent locus of theological reflection over the next generation. In Sojourners and Strangers, Gregg Allison clears the ground by presenting a thoroughly biblical ecclesiology, at once comprehensive in scope and sensitive to nuance. A welcome addition to an important series.
—Timothy George, founding dean, Beeson Divinity School
The doctrine of the church is one that continues to divide Christians, and especially Protestants, from one another. Dr. Gregg Allison has grasped this thorny nettle and produced a book that presents both the basic principles that unite us and the controversies that continue to produce different ecclesial formations. He maintains his own conservative, Reformed Baptist convictions while being fair to those who hold other views, making his book a valuable contribution to our understanding of this vitally important subject.
—Gerald Bray, Research professor of divinity, history, and doctrine, Beeson Divinity School
I am a full-time pastor, and therefore I must be a full-time theologian. As a pastor, my highest calling is to honor Jesus by shepherding his flock. As a theologian, my highest calling is to laud Jesus publically as the hope of the world. Quite frankly, I need help as I deal with real life difficulties that I could not fictionally create. Dr. Allison’s work in Sojourners and Strangers is the most helpful, theologically driven manual for leading in the church. If you buy it, you’ll wear it out.
—Tyler Jones, lead pastor, Vintage Church, Raleigh, NC
Gregg R. Allison is professor of Christian theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is secretary of the Evangelical Theological Society, a book review editor for the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, an elder at Sojourn Community Church, and a theological strategist for Sojourn Network. Allison has taught at several colleges and seminaries, including Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and is the author of numerous books, including Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine, Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church, and Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment.