Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

An Introduction to Ecclesiology Part II


Picturesque church of Vernazza

Originally uploaded by Bеn

I want to take a few posts to do a summary of Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen’s book An Introduction to Ecclesiology: Ecumenical, Historical and Global Perspectives. This post is part two and it will deal with some of the leading contemporary Ecclesiologist (those who study the theology of the church). Here they are:

Part II – Leading Contemporary Ecclesiologist

Chapter 8: John Zizioulas an Easter Orthodox bishop with a communion ecclesiology. The Eucharist is the foundational act of the church. The church is “instituted by Christ and constituted by the Spirit” (99).

Chapter 9: Hans Küng a catholic with a charismatic ecclesiology sees the church as the people of God, on a pilgrimage. He favors a charismatic structure where each person is gifted to edify, serve and unify the body of Christ.

Chapter 10: Wolfhart Pannenberg a Lutheran with a universal ecclesiology sees the church as anticipation “and a sign of the unity of all people under one God” (115). The church is a sign and tool of the coming kingdom for all humanity.

Chapter 11: Jürgen Moltman n with a messianic, eschatological, charismatic, trinitarian ecclesiology views the church as a communion of equals that exists for the world. He advocates a broader view of the Spirits work, in all of creation.

Chapter 12: Miroslav Volf a free church theologian with a trinitarian, participatory ecclesiology. He has an emphasis on the priesthood of all believers and sees the sacraments as necessary, but ordained ministers helpful but unnecessary.

Chapter 13: James McClendon Jr. a Baptist theologian calls the church a narrative community that is future oriented, gift-created and a people of peoples. He emphasizes the rule of God, centrality of Christ and the fellowship of the Spirit.

Chapter 14: Lesslie Newbigin an Anglican with a missionary ecclesiology emphasizes the visible witness of the church – bearing and witnessing the truth as a sign, foretaste and instrument of God’s kingdom.

The next and final post in this series will deal with contextual ecclesiologies.


One Response to An Introduction to Ecclesiology Part II

  1. Pingback: Dream Awakener » An Introduction to Ecclesiology Part I

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