Missional Church: a vision for the sending of the church in North America
edited by Darrell L. Guder
Authors: Lois Barrett, Inagrace T. Dietterich, George R. Hunsberger, Alan J. Roxburgh, Craig Van Gelder
Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Pub, (C) 1998


Scripture is shaped by human literary forms and authorial style, yet remains the Word of God. Similarly, the church is shaped by human culture and language, yet remains the church of God. The authorial team of Missional Church begins at this very point. The church on earth always exists in a human-divine tension. Therefore, any ecclesiology must take into consideration both sides of that tension. It must recognize that everything we understand runs through our cultural filter and that everything we intend to communicate must be translated through that filter with as much clarity as possible. To do this, the authors posit five characteristics for a missional ecclesiology (pp. 11-12):

  • Biblical: “…found in and based on what the bible teaches…”
  • Historical: “…consider historical development of other ecclesiologies…”
  • Contextual: “…developed within a particular culture…”
  • Eschatological: “…moving toward God’s promised consummation…”
  • Able to be Practiced: “…equip the church for its calling…”

In chapters two and three the authors describe North American culture and the church in North America. More on that later…