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Flawed Church, Faithful God: A Reformed Ecclesiology for the Real World

Flawed Church, Faithful God: A Reformed Ecclesiology for the Real World


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How can we reconcile the ideal church described by theology with the broken church that we see in the world? In this book Joseph Small argues that the church’s true identity is known somewhere in the tension between the two. 

Small revisits familiar ecclesiological concepts—people of God, the body of Christ, the communion of the Holy Spirit—but rather than focusing on theological abstractions or worldly cynicism, he carefully evaluates the church in its scriptural, historical, theological, and social contexts. Both sociologically honest and theologically discerning, Flawed Church, Faithful God offers a constructive Reformed yet ecumenical ecclesiology for the real world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802876126
Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Joseph D. Small is the former director of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Theology and Worship. He now serves as adjunct professor of ministry at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and church-relations consultant to the Presbyterian Foundation. He has written and edited several books, including Conversations with the Confessions: Dialogue in the Reformed Tradition.

Table of Contents

Foreword Craig Dykstra ix

Preface xiii

1 What (in the World) Is the Church? 1

2 We Believe? 22

3 Church of the Word and Sacrament 42

4 Communion of the Holy Spirit 62

5 Body Language 85

6 Call and Response 104

7 People of God 124

8 In Our Time 145

9 Professing the Faith 167

10 One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church 188

11 Hope for the Church 209

Bibliography 220

Index of Authors 229

Index of Subjects 232

Index of Scripture References 240

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