What is the church? This is the age old question. In Mark Driscoll's book, "Vintage Church" he interviewed a number of prominent evangelical pastors how they would define the church and NONE of them had an answer. My assumption is that such guys as Bill Hybel and Rick Warren would on the top of that list.
But what is the church? Mark Driscoll attempts to define it in ways that I think brings together more facets than even our own confessions. He says the church is the following:
1) Regenerated believers in Christ (I Corinthians 14:22-25)
2) Qualified Leadership (Acts 2:42, Acts 14:23, 20:28)(Mainly qualified men)
3) Preaching and worship (Acts 2:42-47)
4) Rightly administered sacraments of Baptism and Lord's Supper
5) Spirit unity (united by the Holy Spirit in Christ)
6) Holiness (When sin ocurs, repentance is next and discipline is administered).
7) Great Commandment to love
8) The Great Commission to evangelize
This definition is much broader than our usual definition "Gospel preached and sacraments administered accordingly." However, there would be disagreement in certain things and also I wonder how do we determine regenerated? What does he mean by Sacraments? What does it mean to be holy?
How we define church will greatly determine how we do church. Ever felt that the church is going on about 80 different directions? How we define the church determines what we do. I will be evaluating these statements by Mark Driscoll in the next few days. How would you define the church?