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The People of God’s Presence: An Introduction to Ecclesiology

ISBN: 9781540960573
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In an age when the church is sometimes viewed as irrelevant and inauthentic, leading Pentecostal theologian Terry Cross calls the people of God to a radical change of structure and mission based on theological principles. Cross, whose work is respected by scholars from across the ecumenical landscape, offers an introduction to ecclesiology that articulates the doctrine of the church from a Pentecostal perspective, showing how the Spirit works to assemble, equip, and empower Christians for participation in the church’s ministries. The book also demonstrates how Pentecostals can contribute to and learn from the church catholic.

Resource Experts
  • Discusses the direction of the church in the twenty-first century
  • Examines the biblical and theological understanding of the nature of the church
  • Explores the tasks and worship of the church with regard to its mission
  • The Church as the Means of Connecting with God?
  • The Nature of God and the People of God
  • The Encounter between God and Humans
  • The Tasks of the People of God in Gathered Community
  • The Tasks of the People of God in Missional Outreach
  • The People of God Proclaim the Word of God and Hear It Proclaimed
  • Conclusion: For the Sake of the World
Terry Cross’s The People of God’s Presence is a fresh and exciting proposal of a rigorous theology of the church that seeks to witness faithfully in changing contexts. It grapples with the legacy of Western Christendom, building where possible while creatively engaging critical voices from the global church. His explication of the church as ‘the people of God’s presence’ defines the church in terms of God’s mission and the Christian vocation as witness to God, who is present and acting in human history. Cross argues a very high theology of the assembled worshiping community, whose significance he investigates as the formation of the people of God’s presence for God’s mission in the world. Supporting this focus is a robust theology of the essential presence and work of the Holy Spirit as a constructive offer from the Pentecostal tradition. The book is a solid contribution to the ecclesiological discussion, made all the more valuable by its accessible style and lucid argumentation.

—Darrell Guder, Henry Winters Luce Emeritus Professor of Missional and Ecumenical Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary

Terry Cross’s The People of God’s Presence is a bold and provocative ecclesiology that depicts the church as the people of God’s immediate and saving presence in the world. According to Cross, only in the depths of this insight will the church rediscover its true power and relevance in our time. This ecclesiology deserves a broad hearing across ecumenical lines and among both pastors and scholars.

—Frank D. Macchia, professor of Christian theology, Vanguard University of Southern California; associate director of the Centre of Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies, Bangor University, Wales

Terry Cross wants to reinfuse into Christian churches the reality of God’s presence, especially in the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Churches too often reminisce about the past without emphasizing God’s empowerment in the present for Christian living, both individually and collectively as churches. Accessing God’s presence may require foregoing programs and doctrines that distract rather than facilitate God’s presence among us. Cross offers some radical suggestions for restoring God’s presence both in public worship and in the proclamation of Scripture. At the turn of the twentieth century, Pentecostalism initiated a ‘re-formation’ of the church in emphasizing the person and work of the Holy Spirit, which helped to empower and transform individual Christians. Drawing upon his Pentecostal background, Cross advocates for a ‘re-formation’ of churches, emphasizing the empowerment of God’s Spirit collectively in how churches worship and proclaim the Word of God. Churches should excel as the means by which people encounter God’s transformational presence. Churches that recover a greater sense of God’s presence will become more missional and effective in ministering to all the needs of the world.

—Don Thorsen, professor of theology, Azusa Pacific University

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.

Terry L. Cross (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is dean of the School of Religion and distinguished professor of theology at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, where he has taught for over twenty years. He previously served as a pastor for twelve years and a high school teacher of Latin and history. Cross is the author of Dialectic in Karl Barth’s Doctrine of God and Answering the Call in the Spirit: Pentecostal Reflections on a Theology of Vocation, Work, and Life. His forthcoming book, Serving the People of God’s Presence, will focus on the role of leadership in the church.


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