The Church (Contours of Christian Theology)

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9780851118932: The Church (Contours of Christian Theology)
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At a time in which the very word church sounds a tone of dull irrelevance, the doctrine of the church has suffered the studied neglect of many Christian leaders. The persistent demands to market, manage and grow the church and to meet the felt needs of churched and unchurched all threaten to quench theological reflection on the abiding nature and mission of the church. But few activities bear greater promise as a starting point for renewing and reshaping the Christian church than the work of theology. In this book Edmund Clowney takes up that task, addressing along the way a variety of contemporary concerns: worship, mission, church and culture, church and state, church order and discipline, the ministry of women, baptism and the Lord's Supper, tongues and prophecy, signs and wonders. He draws on decades of thinking and teaching about the church as well as from his committed leadership and ministry within the church. Biblical, historical, systematic and Reformed, The Church is a timely and provocative reflection on the life, order and purpose of the household of God.

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About the Author:

Edmund P. Clowney (1917-2005) received his B.A. from Wheaton College in 1939, a Th.B. from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1942, an S.T.M. from Yale University Divinity School in 1944 and a D.D. from Wheaton College in 1966. Ordained in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, he served as pastor of several churches from 1942 to 1946 and was then invited to become assistant professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in 1952. He became that institution's first president in 1966, and he remained there until 1984, when he took a post as theologian-in-residence at Trinity Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Charlottesville, Virginia. In 1990, Clowney moved to Escondido, California, where he served as adjunct professor at Westminster Seminary California. In 2001, he took a full-time position as associate pastor at Christ the King Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Houston, Texas. After two years, he returned to Charlottesville, where he resumed part-time the post of theologian-in-residence at Trinity Presbyterian Church. He remained in this role until his death. Clowney was instrumental in the birth or growth of such ministries as the Reformed Theological Seminary in Aix-en-Provence, France; Westminster Seminary California; Trinity Church, Charlottesville; the Lausanne Conference; InterVarsity ministries, both in the United States and in England; and "The Westminster Ministerial Institute," an inner-city training program for pastors in Philadelphia, out of which was grown the Center for Urban Theological Studies. Clowney is remembered by many as a preacher, perhaps the most gifted proponent and practitioner of redemptive-historical preaching of this generation. His writing also displays the great theme of his life, namely Christ's presence in the whole of Scripture and his present work in the church. His books include Preaching and Biblical Theology, Called to the Ministry, Christian Meditation, Doctrine and the Church, The Message of 1 Peter, The Unfolding Mystery and Preaching Christ in All of Scripture. Clowney left a legacy not only of written book and articles, but also a great number of sermons and lectures, as well as magazine columns such as the humorous "Eutychus and His Pin" for Christianity Today and Bible studies for Tabletalk.

Review:

"This series has been around for over a decade now and has established itself as providing learned yet accessible treatments of key topics in systematic theology. The authors are not only fine theological thinkers, they are also passionate churchmen with a love for God's people and a desire to see the church grow in her knowledge of grace. Each volume blends exegesis, theological synthesis and judicious dialogue with the history of theology to provide an excellent treatment of the chosen topic. Highly recommended for thoughtful Christians who want to deepen their knowledge of Christian theology." (Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary)

"Read everything in the IVP Contours of Theology series. Pure gold." (Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan)

"For several years evangelicals have lacked a satisfactory textbook on ecclesiology. Clowney . . . has filled that gap with this fine survey volume . . . . The evangelical church will profit greatly from careful attention to the fruits of his labor." (Bibliotheca Sacra)

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