5th Sunday after the Epiphany
So I have a question: what do evangelicals think "the church" is? Seriously, for the essay I'm writing. I'd like to ask my evangelical readers to tell me about what they think (or what they've been taught) that the church is, and what it means. We know the biblical metaphors: assembly, people of God, Body of Christ, et cetra. But what kind of things is one supposed to do with that?
I'm going to write my first long essay on "the church as mystical communion." Here's the catch: I want to write about it for evangelical Christians. I think we've typically had a very thin ecclesiology, and I think this way of seeing our common life can have a healthful and healing effect. So I'm working on seeing how the idea is grounded in Scripture, and how it teaches us to live in a different way. (That's why I've been reading all this stuff on character formation.)
I'm reading and writing on this because I think we need it. So I have a few questions you might think about. You're welcome to leave it as a comment, or to e-mail me if you're more comfortable. I'd greatly appreciate your contribution.
- What in your experience has been the most common metaphor used to describe the church?
- What have been the implications of your "native ecclesiology"? That is, is the church supposed to do something for you? Do you do something for it? Are you the church? How does the outside world relate to that?
- Have you accepted or rejected what you were taught about the church?
- What do you really think the church is? What do you hope that it is?