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.
“Absolute continuity (e.g., reconstructionism/theonomy) maintains that the entirety of the Old Testament legal material—including its many moral laws, civil rules, and ceremonial regulations—continues in force today and thus is binding on Christians.” (Page 39)
“The second view is that Scripture is wholly sufficient with regard to ecclesiology.” (Page 34)
“My personal position on this matter is that Scripture is wholly sufficient with regard to ecclesiology (the second position).” (Page 36)
“The church is pneumadynamic, or created, gathered, gifted, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.40” (Page 117)
“Because of the identity of the new covenant partners—God and Christ-followers—I draw the conclusion that the church began at Pentecost and did not exist prior to that monumental event.” (Page 78)
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
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.