The Doctrine of the Church, An Interview with Gregg Allison, Part 2

Greg Strand – December 18, 2012 Leave a comment

As I promised yesterday, here is the second part of the interview (see yesterday’s post for the complete interview) that focuses on Gregg Allison’s seven key attributes of  his understanding of the church, spelled out in his new book, Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church (Wheaton: Crossway).

Your core definitions of the church include the following: doxological, logocentric, pneumadynamic, covenantal, confessional, missional, and spatio-temporal/eschatological. Could you briefly summarize what these aspects mean?

The church is characterized by seven attributes. The first three are characteristics regarding the origin and orientation of the church: it is (1) doxological, or oriented to the glory of God; (2) logocentric, or centered on the incarnate Word of God, Jesus Christ, and the inspired Word of God, Scripture; and (3) pneumadynamic, or created, gathered, gifted, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The final four are characteristics regarding the gathering and sending of the church: it is (4) covenantal, or gathered as members in new covenant relationship with God and in covenantal relationship with each other; (5) confessional, or united by both personal confession of faith in Christ and common confession of the Christian faith; (6) missional, or identified as the body of divinely-called and divinely-sent ministers to proclaim the gospel and advance the kingdom of God; and (7) spatio-temporal/eschatological, or assembled as a historical reality (located in space and time) and possessing a certain hope and clear destiny while its lives the strangeness of ecclesial existence in the here-and-now.

I like this definition! What about you?

Greg Strand

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Affectionately called “Walking Bible” by his youngest daughter, Greg Strand has a ministry history that goes back to 1982. Since that time, he has served in local church ministry in a variety of ministry capacities: youth pastor, associate pastor of adult ministries and senior pastor. He is currently the EFCA's Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing. Greg reads voraciously and never stops learning — a passion reflected in the overflowing bookshelves that spill from his library to multiple offices. And he could tell you about each of those books! His hunger for learning pales in contrast to his great love for God and for teaching the Word of God.

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