Distinguishing the Church: Explorations in Word, Sacrament, and Discipline
As the Protestant Reformers did, so twenty-first-century Christians also recognize the need to distinguish between the true and false church. Thus, they find themselves looking closely at the modern church to determine whether it is a true and faithful church. Today’s Christians know that proper criteria are necessary to discern the true church. The most common criteria, wrote John Calvin, are that the Word of God is rightly preached and heard and that the sacraments are administered according to Christ’s institution. Moreover, Martin Luther said that suffering is a telltale sign of God’s people, while Anabaptist and Reformed Christians included discipline among the distinguishing marks of the church. These standards take on particular poignancy today: The global church continues to live under severe persecution, and the American church, characterized by a lack of discipline, has been wounded by its own sins of chasing sex and power. In this collection of essays, first given at annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society, the authors take time to reflect on the Reformational marks of the church in order to help reform Christ’s bride. With contributions from: Edward W. Klink III Duane Litfin J. Stephen Yuille J. V. Fesko Keith D. Stanglin Greg Cochran Jeremy M. Kimble Guy Waters Justin L. McLendon
Mission of the church -- 21st century;
Peters, Greg and Jenson, Matt (2019). Distinguishing the Church: Explorations in Word, Sacrament, and Discipline. Eugene: Pickwick Publications.