AN ARTICULATION AND EVALUATION OF AN EMERGING CHURCH ECCLESIOLOGY
By Laura K. Springer
Th.M. Thesis, May 2008
Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
Reader: Robert L. Saucy, Ph.D.
The content of the faith. We know the story of God. The story of which we speak is the story of God, stretching back to the very beginning and forward to the consummation of the Kingdom. We hear the story authoritatively in Scripture and derivatively in tradition. We participate in the story by following Jesus and we tell the story through words and actions.
The nature of the church. We are the people of God. We are peopled through our connection with the Triune God, not by our affinity. Community is essential to our being and our essential communal nature shapes our structures and practices.
The purpose of the church. We expand the kingdom of God. This kingdom is the spiritual and physical rule of God and it includes obedient subjects, a kingly blessing, and a kingly realm. The kingdom was proclaimed by Jesus during his earthly ministry and he called his followers to enter the kingdom. The Kingdom of God has come near but has not yet fully come. Jesus proclaimed its proleptic presence, but it will only be consummated in the eschaton. For now, Christians expand the Kingdom through regular life together, centered on Jesus, and for the sake of the world. Together we proclaim the Kingdom’s King until he comes.