Monday, August 04, 2008

The Essence of the Church (2)

The Church is...

Van Gelder suggests that to understand the essence of the church, there is a need to start with what 'the church is'; he connects this with an understanding of the kingdom.

"The understanding of the church must start with an understanding of the kingdom of God. More specifically, it must start with the announcement of the inauguration of God's redemptive reign in the person and presence of Jesus. The redemptive reign of God must serve as the foundation for defining the nature, ministry and organisation of the church. The church must find its core identity in relation to God's redemptive reign as introduced by Jesus in his announcement that the "kingdom of God has come near". (2000:74)
Van Gelder argues that any consequent understanding of church has 'profound implications for our understanding of the nature of the church'. Not only does such a core identity lend itself to a 'proper understanding of a missiological ecclesiology', but it can also help bring insight to some of the many problems unraveling within church life today.

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