Dr. Ferguson offers a genuine biblical theology of the church that the pastor, church leader, layperson and student will find informational and useful. He systematically examines the New Testament’s teaching on the existence, meaning and purpose of the church. Carefully grounding ecclesiology in the person and work of Christ, Ferguson unveils a comprehensive model of the church that is both biblically centered and relevant. After emphasizing the value of the Old Testament for the Christian, he presents three important images regarding the nature of the church: the people of God, the body of Christ, and the community of the Spirit. His treatment of sin, the cross, and the human response to God is connected to his idea of ecclesiology. Worship, baptism, gifts, ministry, Christian ethics, discipline and unity are some of the major themes the author addresses. The "Today" in the subtitle does not imply an adapting of biblical ecclesiology to the interests of the present, but is meant to emphasize that biblical ecclesiology is viable today.
“In Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, the primary meaning of ‘kingdom’ is ‘kingship,’ that is, royal power or kingly rule. The words more often refer to the ‘reign’ than to the ‘realm’ in which the rule is exercised, to the dominion rather than the domain.” (Page 19)
“To summarize thus far, the kingdom as God’s power, authority, glory, and grace exercised through Christ brings the blessings of salvation, redemption, life, and righteousness to his people.” (Page 32)
“(4) The beginning of the offer of forgiveness in Jesus’ name.” (Page 66)
“Supplication. This refers to the petitions made to God. We thank him for his gifts and make our requests known to him (Phil. 4:6). The petitions of the model prayer concentrate on spiritual concerns and needs: the kingdom and will of God, deliverance from temptation and sin. The model prayer, however, does not neglect physical needs—the basic necessity of ‘daily food.’ Included in supplications will be petitions for the welfare of others, intercessions (1 Tim. 2:1).92 This dimension especially keeps to the forefront the community dimension of prayer.” (Pages 267–268)
“For the Christian, the Old Testament remains the ‘word of God’ (see the next section), but the basis of the relationship with God now is different—what God has done in Jesus and the new covenant of forgiveness in him. The Old Testament as a system of religion does not regulate the activities of the church, that is, the people of Christ. The church of Christ is a new covenant community. Hence, this study will concentrate on the church as set forth in the New Testament.” (Page 14)
A comprehensive yet very detailed study of New Testament ecclesiology. . . . Although particularly appropriate for those who wish to understand the doctrinal emphases of Churches of Christ, this irenic and incisive study will prove beneficial to anyone interested in understanding the teachings of the New Testament regarding the church.
—W.R. Estep, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Ferguson has written a thorough, biblically centered, and immensely scholarly textbook on the church that can be used by scholars in the university as well as by ministers and serious students. Without any reservations I recommend The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today.
—Will Ed Warren, Harding University
In the Logos edition, this digital volume of The Church of Christ is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English Bible translations, and important terms link to a wealth of other resources in your digital library, including tools for original languages, dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, and theology texts. 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.