the weblog of Alan Knox

Keeping us thinking

Posted by on Mar 26, 2009 in blog links, definition | 4 comments

Here are two good posts that help us keep thinking about the church:

Lew at “The Pursuit” with “Putting Church Before God

Matt at “Kingdom Living” with “What is Church?


4 Comments

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  1. 3-26-2009

    Alan,

    I was at the ecclesiology conference this past weekend and a question has been brewing in my mind that I don’t see addressed in these posts or in anything I’ve yet stumbled upon on your site.

    My question is: What is the relationship of the church and the gospel?

    Most of what I’ve seen here and linked to from here focuses on a particular church model (which I think has a LOT of good to offer, by the way), but I haven’t read much that speaks to the gospel of Christ itself. Shouldn’t that be the foundation of our discussion of the church?

    I very much appreciate the conversation here; I just worry that our thoughts on “church” could overshadow the gospel, which is opposite our goal.

    Another interesting question is: What is the church’s role in defending the gospel?

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts…

  2. 3-27-2009

    Adam,

    There is not church without the gospel. The good news that we are reconciled with God through Jesus Christ and indwelled by the Spirit is the foundation of the church.

    I think that Hebrews 10:19-25 is one of the best passages to demonstrate the connection between the gospel and the relational aspects of the church.

    -Alan

  3. 3-28-2009

    Alan,

    Thanks for your reply. I agree that spiritually speaking there is no church without the gospel. But it is possible to meet together in the name of doing church without actually doing the gospel. Who should defend the vision of church cast in Heb 10:19-25 when a church is going astray? Does anyone have the authority to say, “This is as far as we go, we need to turn back to Scripture?” And if we all have that authority, what compels us to heed another, especially if we’re bent on our own way?

    I do believe in the autonomy of the local church, so I suppose these questions are pointed at me as much as at anyone. I also hope it’s clear that I’m asking in all honesty and friendliness; I’m only working to digest what you set before us at that conference. Is there a book you would recommend that might flesh some of this out more for me?

    Thanks!

  4. 3-28-2009

    Adam,

    You asked, “Who should defend the vision of church cast in Heb 10:19-25 when a church is going astray?”

    To whom is Heb 10:19-25 addressed? Who is responsible for drawing near to God and holding fast to their confession? So, then, who is responsible for considering one another in order to spur one another on to love and good works? If the church moves away from the gospel, I would say that it was moving away from “love and good works”. Who is responsible for “considering” this and “spurring” one another back to the gospel?

    -Alan