Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church
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What is a church? This can be a difficult question to answer and Christians have offered a variety of perspectives. In Sojourners and Strangers Gregg Allison explores and synthesizes all that Scripture affirms about the new covenant people of God, capturing a full picture of the biblical church.
He covers the topics of the church's identity and characteristics; its growth through purity, unity, and discipline; its offices and leadership structures; its ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper; and its ministries. Here is a rich approach to ecclesiology consisting of sustained doctrinal reflection and wise, practical application.
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Offering readers rich theological reflection and practical wisdom relating to the nature and organization of the church, this comprehensive resource investigates the Bibles teaching on everything from church leadership to the nature of true worship. Part of the Foundations of Evangelical Theology series.
Gregg R. Allison (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor of Christian theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is secretary of the Evangelical Theological Society, a book review editor for the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, an elder at Sojourn Community Church, and a theological strategist for Sojourn Network. Allison has taught at several colleges and seminaries, including Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and is the author of numerous books, including Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine, Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church, and Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment.
John S. Feinberg (PhD, University of Chicago) is department chair and professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is the author of Ethics for a Brave New World (with Paul D. Feinberg) and is general editor of Crossways Foundations of Evangelical Theology series.
Founding Dean, Beeson Divinity School; General Editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture
This is a timely, thorough, biblical, practical, and helpful book on the church. It helps us to understand Jesus' church, and to love her and serve her as Jesus does. Having heard Dr. Allison teach this content, I am thrilled it's finally in print.
Founding and Preaching Pastor, Mars Hill Church, Seattle, Washington; Founder, Resurgence; Co-founder, Acts 29; NY Times #1 best-selling author
The doctrine of the church is one that continues to divide Christians, and especially Protestants, from one another. Dr. Gregg Allison has grasped this thorny nettle and produced a book that presents both the basic principles that unite us and the controversies that continue to produce different ecclesial formations. He maintains his own conservative, Reformed Baptist convictions while being fair to those who hold other views, making his book a valuable contribution to our understanding of this vitally important subject.
author, God Is Love
I am a full-time pastor, and therefore I must be a full-time theologian. As a pastor, my highest calling is to honor Jesus by shepherding his flock. As a theologian, my highest calling is to laud Jesus publically as the hope of the world. Quite frankly, I need help as I deal with real life difficulties that I could not fictionally create. Dr. Allisons work in Sojourners and Strangers is the most helpful, theologically driven manual for leading in the church. If you buy it, youll wear it out.
Lead Pastor, Vintage21 Church, Raleigh, North Carolina; Regional Director, Acts 29 Church Planting Network; Founder, Advance the Church
Gregg Allisons Sojourners and Strangers is historically informed, exegetically driven, and theological precise. Even more, this timely tour-de-force ecclesiology displays a love for the church and is written for the church!
-Christopher W. Morgan,
Dean, School of Christian Ministries, California Baptist University; editor, Suffering and the Goodness of God
No longer can one regard evangelical ecclesiology as a contradiction in terms. Among the many recent evangelical volumes on the doctrine of the church, Allisons will undoubtedly prove to be the standard treatment for years to come. This excellent book is biblically faithful, historically informed, and pastorally relevant. One need not agree with Allison on every point of interpretation to profit immensely from his insights. I struggle to think of another volume on the subject that combines both theological depth and practical wisdom in such readable fashion as does Allison. I cannot recommend it too highly.
Senior Pastor, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; author, The Hope of Glory
Dr. Gregg Allison has done a masterful job of writing a thorough yet practical analysis of the church. This volume is a must read for any serious pastor or theologian who desires to look into the heart of evangelical ecclesiology. As a conservative Christian and pastor of a local church I am too quick to recommend or make decisions regarding the practice of the local church with little thought of accountability or connectedness to the church both universal or historical. Allison brings such breadth and depth to the beauty of the church by tracing every section through the early church, Catholic Church, Reformation, and into our contemporary culture and times. I especially appreciated Greggs willingness to address prominent issues churches are currently struggling withsuch as church governance or the multisite movement. This book fills the void that has long existed in most evangelicals libraries!
Senior Pastor, Parkview Evangelical Free Church, Iowa City, Iowa
Writing an evangelical ecclesiology is a difficult task, due to the fact that evangelicals differ on many aspects of ecclesiology. All will not agree with the positions taken by Gregg Allison in Sojourners and Strangers, but all will profit from his detailed study. He is especially thorough in his treatment of polity and the ordinances, and goes down some seldom-explored paths in his opening sections. At points, his arguments require careful reading, but often open up new perspectives. I commend it to students of ecclesiology.
Associate Dean for Theological Studies, Professor of Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; author Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches
In this comprehensive treatment of the doctrine of the church, Gregg Allison brings a depth of doctrinal reflection, scriptural understanding, and practical wisdom to bear. Interacting with various ecclesiological perspectives throughout church history and today, he provides a balanced, biblical, and up-to-date treatment of topics from the characteristics of the church, to church government, to church ministryall informed by his understanding of the paradoxical nature of the church as both part of the world and yet looking to another Kingdom. This work will make a major theological contribution to the expanding literature on the doctrine of the church.
-Justin S. Holcomb,
Executive Director, The Resurgence; Lead Pastor, Mars Hill Church U-District; Adjunct Professor of Theology and Culture, Reformed Theological Seminary; co-author, Rid of My Disgrace
Gregg Allison has done evangelicals a great service with a true theology of the church. In the endless stream of books and blogs on technique and pragmatics of doing church, Sojourners and Strangers gives an answer to the question what is a church? that is superbly written, soundly biblical, theologically coherent, and practically applicable. His expertise in historical theology and his experience in leadership in a variety of types of churches enrich his profound biblical insights. It is a must read for all who are serious about leadership in the church of Jesus Christ.
Professor of Theology, Westminster Seminary; coauthor, Death by Love: Letters from the Cross
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