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Evangelical Ecclesiology: Reality or Illusion?


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Evangelicals lead churches, plant churches, fill churches, and even split churches. But they have not distinguished themselves in theological reflection on the church. This book tackles what the character of evangelicalism as a loose coalition of Christians says about the movement’s attitude toward the church. Are certain ecclesiologies more in keeping with the evangelical ethos than others? What is the parachurch’s role in shaping evangelical church structure?

Contributors from several disciplines and denominations, including Howard Snyder, George Hunsberger, and Roger E. Olson, examine the state of the evangelical church in Evangelical Ecclesiology. This volume brings together fresh reflections—and provocations—on the subject of the church.

Essential for students, scholars, pastors, and laypeople, this informative volume brings fresh perspectives on theological matters. With the Logos Bible Software edition, searching by topic or Scripture references will further help your understanding—you’ll compare, for example, the systematic theologies of various scholars or denominations.

Resource Experts

Key Features

  • Examines the state of the evangelical church
  • Collects ideas from contributors of multiple denominations and disciplines


  • Inspiration from Our Heritage
    • “Is Evangelical Ecclesiology an Oxymoron? A Historical Perspective,” by Bruce Hindmarsh
    • “Recovering a Trinitarian and Sacramental Ecclesiology,” by Kerry L. Dearborn
  • Programmatic Proposals
    • “The Marks of Evangelical Ecclesiology,” by Howard A. Snyder
    • “Evangelical Conversion toward a Missional Ecclesiology,” by George R. Hunsberger
  • The Best Ecclesiology?
    • “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic: Awaiting the Redemption of Our Body,” by Edith M. Humphrey
    • “Free Church Ecclesiology and Evangelical Spirituality: A Unique Compatibility,” by Roger E. Olson
    • “The ‘Gift’ of the Church: Ecclesia Crucis, Peccatrix Maxima, and the Missio Dei,” by Michael Jinkins
  • Responses
    • “Low-Church and Proud,” by Paul F.M. Zahl
    • “Reimagining the Church: Evangelical Ecclesiology,” by Richard Beaton

Praise for the Print Edition

Like most things ‘evangelical,’ evangelical ecclesiology is up for grabs today. Even evangelical theologians, in their attempts to discern what the church is called to be, find themselves looking in a plethora of directions for constructive models, from the free church tradition to Eastern Orthodoxy and the Celtic church. The essays in Evangelical Ecclesiology display not only the tensions within contemporary evangelical thought about the variety of ways in which evangelical thinkers seek to assist the people of God in the task of being the church in the contemporary world but also the vitality of the current discussion.

Stanley J. Grenz (1950–2005), Pioneer McDonald Professor of Theology, Carey Theological College

I heartily recommend this anthology, not because it will answer any of the questions it poses, but because I put it down with them more sharply focused than before. It belongs on the bookshelves of all, clergy and laity, academic and professional, interested in the continuing development of evangelical identity in North America.

Canadian Evangelical Review

The book is a welcome introduction into the much-needed discussion concerning evangelical ecclesiology. It is easy to read and has a wealth of footnotes for anyone desiring more in depth study.

Criswell Theological Review

These essays represent a wide variety of thought-provoking views. One of the strengths of the book is the vigor with which different views are presented and the fact that no attempt is made to reconcile differences or break them down into a common view. . . . This is not a progressively coordinated study like a text with a single author. Its value is perceived to lie in precisely the opposite character—in the diversity of views robustly presented. Several of the chapters could be used to stimulate new patterns of thought in courses on church and mission. The essays in this book make important and serious contributions to thought regarding the evangelical ethos, and its sense of both the church and its mission.


A very interesting book. . . . The book offers valuable insights for theologians and church practitioners. It can be useful to pastors searching for clues to the contemporary maze of ecclesiologies in congregations that choose to leave out the denominational adjective in their names. It will also be useful to students in seminary classes.

Review and Expositor

Product Details

John Stackhouse is an advisory editor at Christianity Today, a contributing editor at Books & Culture, and a consulting editor at Christian History & Biography magazines. He is the author of more than 500 articles, book chapters, and reviews in the history, sociology, and philosophy of religion and in theology. He has published seven books and edited or co-edited four more. Dr. Stackhouse’s commentary has been featured by most North American television networks, many radio stations, and print media as diverse as The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, The Atlantic, Time, Reader’s Digest, The Christian Century, and even Maxim. He has lectured at schools as various as Yale University, Calvin Theological Seminary, Prairie Bible Institute, Brigham Young University, and the People’s University of China. A jazz musician, he sometimes plays piano, electric bass, trumpet, or guitar for Regent events. He was also a right winger on the Regent College hockey team that lost the UBC intramural championship on a dreadful referee’s mistake.


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    Print list price: $26.00
    Save $0.01 (0%)