This book does precisely what its title indicates. It discusses and makes as clear as possible what, in the authors' view, the church is, what are its limits, what should be its doctrine, what is the status of its ministry and the nature of its sacraments, and how in the present state of disunion, confusion and uncertainty we can conceive that the church of Jesus Christ exists. In other words, it offers a theology of the church.
It is addressed primarily to Anglicans, who have every reason to be confused and uncertain. The fact that we live in a period when ecumenical co-operation and dialogue are being practised as never before in the history of Christianity makes the need for clarity here all the more important. However, it does not deal with the many ethical, social, political and even economic issues and choices which face the church, nor is it a blueprint for the future.
Many problems are caused by lack of adequate theological reflection. This book provides primarily that and by focussing on what is called ecclesiology, it will provide clergy and laity alike with a basis on which plans can be made for the future.