What does it mean to believe in the church, as is stated in the Nicene creed? What is the relationship between the church we believe in and the church we experience? Is there an invisible church that is different from the visible?
In this new work The Real Church: An Ecclesiology of the Visible Dr Harald Hegstad argues that there should be no division in the church between everyday practitioners and theologians – no invisible church that is different from the visible. The real church is where the worshippers are; where most people experience a relationship with God. As Hegstad suggests, ‘The church becomes the church when people gather in the name of Jesus and believe that Jesus himself, through the Spirit, is made present in their midst. As such, the church is both a sign and an anticipation of the fellowship between God and people with the forthcoming kingdom of God’ (page 14).
In this fantastic exploration of faith, Hegstad aims to reunite the invisible church of the theologians with the visible, real church. He analyses the theology and practices of the church to see if thought matches deed. Through his examination of issues such as the relationship between church and world, mission, church as fellowship, ministries in the church, worship, and unity in the church, Hegstad arrives at a thorough understanding of the sociological and theological components of religion and makes recommendations for how we can unify them.
This fascinating new book will be available on 27 June 2013. Check http://www.jamesclarke.co/ soon for more details, extracts, and information on how to buy.